The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Sual "Canelo" Alvarez vs. Callum Smith, the pound-for-pound best, heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano, Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones, Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia, and more.
What’s up Breadman,
Hope you and yours are fine.
I wanted to write in the mailbag last Week about Crawford punching technique, but I did’nt really knew how to translate correctly what I thought. And yesterday I saw you found the perfect words, Crawford land Bruce Lee type of punches !
It seems like when he throws a power punch, all the power is generated in the last quarter of the move. I feel like he close his hands harder and contract his muscles harder on that part to accelerate and make it more compact (I hope my translation from french to English was clear enough).
It was evident at 2 moments in the Kell Brook fight, the first time was the first left hand that threw Brook in the ropes. The second one was when Brool was in the ropes and Crawford took the time to pick his shots, he had is left hand in the air, and on a really short distance he was able to land a brutal, compact shot.
I also totally agree with you with Errol best performances to date, my favorite is against Lamont Peterson, I thought he showed something new in that one, like he went to another level.
What do you think about Canelo vs Smith fight ?
Thanks for your time, take care.
Max from France
Bread’s Response: Whenever I watch an athlete in any sport do something that strikes me I ask them to repeat it. I do that because I wonder if it’s instinctual or taught. It really doesn’t matter as long as they can replicate it but I ask anyway. If they can’t replicate it then it becomes an issue because great athletes can do great things over and over.
The Power Zone of a punch is the same power zone in a 100m Sprint. Here is what I mean. When a sprinter runs a 100m, he’s not at full speed at the beginning of the race. And he’s not at full speed at the end of the race. He’s at full speed and power after the middle point. So after around 60%-70% of the race the sprinter is at top speed. It’s the same way with a punch. People repeat you want to be on the END of the shot to get the power. Well if you’re too far on the end it will lose steam. The arm is only but so long. And if you get too close obviously you will smother the power and not let it get enough momentum.
I bring this up because Crawford either was taught this or he does this instinctually. But he starts to snap his punches as they whip through the power zone. I think this is the reason why he punches harder than it looks. I also think it’s the reason he looks fast but not blinding fast. He let’s the punch go smooth and relaxed which is the best way to build speed. Then as it approaches the target and max power zone he starts to put his WHIP and SNAP on the shot. He’s really mastered this with his RIGHT HOOK.
I think this is why he’s so accurate during his FINISHES. He flows his punches towards the target and he only snaps through when the opening is there. Can you imagine a pitcher who can pitch an 85mph pitch and then halfway through the pitch, the ball speeds up to 100mph? That’s exactly how Crawford punches.
A few years ago I was trying to figure out why Crawford doesn’t look lighting fast and why he didn’t look like a big puncher but he was scoring kos consistently. And I figured out what he was doing. I wonder if this is something he picked up on his own or was this something he was taught. Either way, he realized the effectiveness of it and it really works for him.
I’m glad you brought up clinching your fist. A hard tight grip is very important at the moment of impact.
Errol Spence was AWESOME vs Lamont Peterson. He was a power punching, volume punching, down hill fighter. That’s very hard to deal with.
I like the Canelo vs Smith match up. When Smith beat George Groves and Hassan Ndam he was really hot. He came back down to earth with his performance vs John Ryder but that’s how boxing is. One off night and everyone cools off on you. I think Smith is an excellent puncher. I like his snap and punch delivery. He also has a 2 fisted attack, which is important for a slippery fighter like Canelo. Smith is 6’3 and Canelo is about 5’8 in actual height. Smith also has very long arms.
I expect a very good fight. Smith is undefeated and he’s RING CHAMPION. I think the issue for Smith is defensively. His stature makes him a BIG target for a bonafide sharp shooter in Canelo. I also think his long arms will hurt him in exchanges because he won’t be able to bring his hands back in place as Canelo unloads counters.
I think Smith will give a spirited effort. But Canelo will land too many judge friendly shots. I believe he’s going to really dig to Smith’s body. I like Canelo by late stoppage or competitive decision. This is a good fight. This is a big fight. A P4P fighter is going up against an undefeated champion in his prime for the RING title. Good for boxing.
I have long been curious as to different aspects of big fight production that take place in the television end, background stuff the fans generally do not get to see. One of these is the fighter meetings. The little I have seen about them tends to show the head trainer usually sits in. Is this so in your experience? Have you done any with fighters when HBO was still doing boxing? If so, who all sits in on them? is it only the main commentary crew? What little I have seen of these meetings were shown in pre-fight segments on HBO and Lampley often talked about the goings on in specific fighter meetings, but I have also heard those doing commentary for the international feed mention the fighter meeting for the same fight. Do the different countries that are going to air a big fight get to have a representative in the meetings or do they maybe just get a cliff notes version of the goings on? Much appreciation for the mailbag every Saturday and best to you and yours in all the standard holiday madness of the next month and a half
Bread’s Response: In a fighter’s meeting usually the members of the fighter’s team attend the meeting. The broadcast team is there from the network and people in their operations. And there may be a few people from the promotional company that attend. That’s about it.
Hope you and your family is in good health.
Who do you think is the GOAT when it comes to their performances at their respective ceiling weight? Sugar Ray Robinson at 160 and Roy Jones at 175 stand out. I am ignoring the fight Robinson had at 175 and Jones had at heavyweight. Those bouts were against guys that were stylistically easier for them and besides there is no rule that says that a boxer cannot beat win a bout above his ceiling weight. Who according to you is the GOAT performer at his respective ceiling weight?
Who do you think is better rematch fighter - Sugar Ray Robinson, Ali or Joe Louis?
Bread’s Response: Oh my goodness. I can’t call the best rematch fighter. This is very tough. I would add that Marvin Hagler belongs on your list. He’s undefeated in rematches and I believe he scored a ko in each of his career rematches. I would say that Ali, Robinson, Louis and Hagler are the best rematch fighters ever. But I’m not sure who’s first.
GOAT at their ceiling weights…Let’s see…Robinson and Jones both stand out. How about we put Mayweather in there. He’s undefeated at junior middleweight and he won the title 3x there. Beating Oscar, Cotto and Canelo. Um…Eder Jofre has a serious claim. He’s undefeated at featherweight and he beat a HOF in Vincente Saldivar. And he’s usually recognized as the best bantamweight ever. Henry Armstrong was a MONSTER at his ceiling weight of welterweight. He defended the title 19x. He beat an ATG in Barney Ross. And he started out at featherweight. Last but not least Manny Pacquiao started out at flyweight in 1995. And he’s a welterweight champion today. Pacquiao’s wins above 140lbs are De La Hoya, Cotto, Clottey, Margarito, Marquez, Mosley, Bradley, Rios, Matthyse, Algieiri, Broner, Vargas and Thurman. He has to be in the conversation for ceiling weight GOAT.
I can’t give a #1 but those are the top guys.
What’s up good brother. I see that they are calling you a racist because you said Crawford was your number 1 pound for pound fighter over Canelo. But I remember you saying Chocolatito was number 1 and no one called you a racist. I appreciate the mailbag man but I don’t know how you put up with these fans.
On another note I know you’re high on Boots Ennis but I think he’s another Erickson Lubin. Super talented but not the pound for pound level guy. I need to see more.
Bread’s Response: Lubin’s career is still going on. He’s actually in a good spot right now. I think he responded well to his ko loss. Let’s see how it plays out. I think Ennis is the goods but obviously I need to see him vs top 10 competition. Again, let’s see how it plays out. I make two assessments. One on projection and the other on present status. I think Ennis presently is the best prospect in boxing. What he’s doing to the level of opposition he’s facing is demolishing them in an exciting skillful way. That’s important. No boring fights. No split decisions. Just total Domination. I don’t remember him losing 1 clear round.
Projection is tougher because obviously you have to factor in who he’s fighting. You also have to factor in it’s harder to dominate at welterweight than say flyweight. So we just have to wait and see. I think he’s going to be a world champion. I believe he has potential to be champion in 3 divisions. I also believe Lubin will be champion one day. Lubin is a talented kid. He’s just in a stacked division so he has to be careful. But he seems to want smoke. Ambition is priceless.
Who is “they”? I don’t know who “they” are. But I’m glad you remember I had Chocolatito as #1 when Floyd retired, Manny had lost to Floyd and Ward was inactive. I was on Chocolatito before it became COOL. But let me keep going with this.
I also said GGG was the truth and a ducked fighter. I believe he’s a HOF and would have been an ATG if he wasn’t ducked from 2012-17.
I said that Loma was also the 1b P4P fighter because of his run at 130lbs.
No one called me racist obviously because I’m black and those fighters aren’t. But I did get some negative feedback, just nothing racial.
I’m good with all of it to be honest. What I realize is that people give you props depending on how much they like you and how much they like themselves. Canelo is a great fighter. Probably an ATG. But I don’t think he’s better than the current version of Terence Crawford and I don’t care what anyone says. Until further developments Terence Crawford is the world’s best fighter in my opinion. So if I’m getting insults because of that then so be it. You have to think about it like this. Crawford and Canelo are really close if everything is factored in. And P4P is subjective. So if me taking Crawford as #1 shouldn’t be that big of a deal. So for someone to have a HUGE problem with that, shows a reflection on them. Because if someone told me Canelo was #1, I can totally understand it and I wouldn’t really argue. It’s that close in my opinion.
I was reading your last mailbag and you made great points about talent, athleticism and skills. Your insight is much appreciated and I thank you for this!
I have a question regarding another great point you made about how fighters who process more quickly are usually the better fighters like Mayweather and Crawford for e.g. I am not putting words in your mouth, I am just paraphrasing as I am lazy to quote you.
Have you seen fighters who are not as quick to process, don't possess equal talent, athleticism or skills yet have been able to beat a fighter who meets all 3 criteria?
Mayweather, while he didn't lose, had a few close fights with Castillo and Maidana who are not the "quickest processing" fighters but had an abandon of physicality attached to them, and that was their calling card against Floyd. I think a boxer who is not as naturally gifted as his opponent, if athletically speaking he is tough, physical and durable, I think in a lot of cases it's the closest thing to an antidote against a "quick processing" fighter. For instance, that's what Spence would have against Crawford, and that's not to say that Crawford is not physical but Spence is conditioned to fight this way just like Maidana and Castillo were conditioned to fight that way when they fought Mayweather who is also a very strong fighter.
I am trying to come up with a recent example of a physical fighter wearing out a fighter who has better talent, athleticism and skill over them and I keep remembering Beterbiev's win over Gvozdyk. Saying that I just realized that Gvozdyk is not necessarily better in terms of athleticism. As you said in your last mailbag strength is part of athleticism and Betterbiev had a huge strength advantage over Gvozdyk.
Other examples that come to mind are Rocky Marciano, Jake Lamotta, Gene Fullmer, Juan Diaz, Margarito, Glen Johnson, Salido but out of all of these only Lamotta and Fullmer have beat a fighter like Mayweather in Ray Robinson.
Can you think of better examples where a physical fighter trumped a fighter's athleticism, talent, skill level and their IQ? Also, how would you train a fighter who is athletic and skillful but doesn't have great IQ/not quick to process boxing? I am not trying to lead you into an answer here I am just wondering physical fighters, like the ones I listed above, did they develop their physicality on their own, were they trained to have it, was it a combination of the two? For instance, I don't remember Winky Wright being as physical early in his career. Lastly, I want to bring Andre Ward into this in saying that I believe his athleticism and talent are not the greatest in my opinion but his skills, IQ and physicality is second to none. I don't see him processing things as quickly as Floyd and Crawford but once he figures something out he is very persistent and physical about it.
Bread’s Response: I usually don’t answer questions this long but this is a very good question.
Ok, sometimes a fighter who has a certain character and qualities can overcome talent and processing. But read this part closely. Sometimes a fighter can LOOK to have better processing and it NOT be the case. Sometimes the rugged fighter can also have superior processing, he just doesn’t have the talent or athleticism so it doesn’t APPEAR to be as good.
The best example I can give of this is Carl Froch vs Jermaine Taylor. Froch is a very physical fighter with great conditioning and a great chin. But he does have high IQ. He knows what he’s doing in a clever way. Jermaine Taylor has skill and athleticism but his IQ has been his undoing in his career. He seems to put himself in bad positions that undermine his skillset. And fighters like Froch who are looked at as brutes don’t get credit for their IQ.
So my point is just because a guy is coming forward and using his strength that doesn’t mean he’s not processing fast. It’s just that fast processing usually gets associated with the fighter who is boxing and moving which is not always true.
I think Marcos Maidana fought in his animalistic zone. He peaked out in 2012-14. He didn’t overthink anything accept in the Mayweather rematch when he tried to save his energy and not be so aggressive in the early rounds, which was a huge mistake. Maidana didn’t wait in the 1st Floyd fight or vs Broner. In a sense that is processing. He decided to attack them. All areas of their body. Top of the head and bottom of the cup. To use a hard jab to back them up and looping shots once they were on the ropes. If you think about it this is processing too. But it’s processing in a proactive way and not a reactive way. We are used to seeing a smooth boxer like Floyd, give up a round or two. Then figure out what the opponent did and he sweeps the rest of the fight. Where as Maidana fought at such a frenetic, violent pace. That it didn’t allow Floyd to pick his brain and figure him out. It was more of a physical fight than it was a mental fight. In the rematch his workrate went way down and so did his success.
And while it’s not the smooth boxing type of processing it is processing. Not waiting on an opponent is an act of processing. Because Maidana realized that if him and Floyd start at the same place, Floyd will always beat him to the spot. But if he started before Floyd then he would have a head start on Floyd’s sharper mind. I think he shot his load in the 1st fight with Floyd. Floyd can LOCK IN in every fight at that level. Maidana couldn’t. That’s why he retired after the rematch. Along with the big paydays. It takes a lot out of a fighter to fight over their heads.
Jose Luis Castillo was a pressure technician. He had a high IQ. Look at how he would scissor Floyd’s legs. He would put his front lead leg, deep in between Floyd’s stance. He would not over punch from too far out. He got very close to Floyd behind an underrated jab. When you get that close to a fighter you don’t have to be a sharp shooter.
Both Castillo and Maidana combined their IQs, with rugged physicality and savagery. They aren’t as talented as Floyd, so they didn’t make it a fight of talent. They made Floyd fight for his life. They both were trying mutilate him. They were smart enough to fight the style that gave them the best chance to win.
If you look closely Sakio Bika gave Andre Ward a very underrated tough fight using the same tactics. Physicality does matter when it’s implied correctly. And it’s why I think Spence vs Crawford is 50/50 if Spence is right.
You gave the best examples of fighters who weren’t as talented but were able to beat more talented fighters. The stand out recent case is Salido over Loma.
But overall Rocky Marciano defeating Ezzard Charles, Joe Walcott and Archie Moore probably stands out. Often times these victories get overlooked as a younger man beating up on older men. And yes they were older than him but not so much as being shot.
Walcott was the reigning heavyweight champion of the world. He was on his career best run. He had just defeated the great Ezzard Charles and he was the favorite over Marciano. He was more athletic than Marciano. He was way more talented. And his IQ appeared to be better. But he couldn’t beat him.
In the rock, papers, scissors of boxing. That volume brute force style gives great boxers trouble regardless of age. Many years later Maidana who was not a great fighter, gave Mayweather an awfully hard fight using the same style Marciano did. That’s no coincidence.
Then Marciano does the same thing to Ezzard Charles. Charles was past his prime but he was in excellent form for Marciano. Charles has a case for being a top 10 fighter ever. That’s how good he is. And again for some reason Marciano was able to win a decision and ko over the more talented, athletic and high IQ Charles.
Then Moore challenges Marciano. Moore was the reigning light heavyweight champion and regarded as one of the best fighters in the world. He was in the middle of his reign and went onto reign many years after. But again Marciano wore him down and was able to ko him.
I think he was able to do it mainly because of his power which was brutal and his conditioning. He famously hit a 300lb heavy bag and he really knew how to stick his punches into a human and do damage. He was indefatigable. And he was able to take their punches better than they could take his. So physicality definitely was a big factor.
But IQ was also apparent. Marciano jabbed from a low angle while leaning over to his right. He was able to throw his hook from over there and his money shot a looping right hand all from the same position. When you jabbed back at Marciano he was lower than you and loaded on his power side. Another thing Marciano did was hit ANYTHING. He hit the hips, shoulder blades and biceps. He was always fighting the attrition fight. He was always putting his opponents up against the ropes where their talent isn’t as prevalent. Marciano was some fighter and very few circa a P4P 190lbs could beat him in history.
So he’s my case for a fighter being able to overcome all 3 boxes of talent, skill and athleticism. And Iran Barkley is my runner up. Tommy Hearns is more skilled, talented and athletic than him. He also has a better IQ. But for some reason Barkley can beat him. Obviously their chins are a factor but Barkley didn’t have a chin that couldn’t be dented. He was a tough guy but he lost a few fights by ko and he was also knocked down a few times.
But again he just didn’t wait on Hearns and he invaded Hearns’s space which was his kryptonite. Usually when a fighter overcomes all 3 boxes it’s because he has a savage quality and he makes the fight more physical.
Training a fighter who is athletic and skillful is fine by me. It’s hard to check the boxes on all 3. I would love to do it. If he didn’t have a great IQ that would be ok, too. Some IQs and adjustments are innate and some are taught. If you have a fighter who is NOT natural at improvising he has to be discipline. He can’t be a fighter who 2nd guesses everything he’s instructed to do. He can’t be an OVERTHINKER. If he’s a disciplined fighter and he doesn’t try to outthink the coaching then he will be fine. The trainer’s IQ becomes the fighter’s IQ. I would also DRILL him constantly. That’s really what pad work is for. Simulating and correcting mistakes. Showing scenarios and drilling the solution. The Mother of Skill is Repetition Drills. Joe Louis may be the greatest rematch fighter ever and he’s known as a fighter who wasn’t brilliant in a literal sense. He was drilled and he listened to his trainers.
There is a such thing as a fighter being too smart for his own good. There is a fine line between being intelligent and being a person who overthinks and is insufferable. I have seen fighters who are like this and you roll the dice on what you get from them on each day. It really depends on how they wake up.
When a fighter and a trainer are in sync they are in the ring together. When the fighter is defiant and oppositional then the fighter is the RING by himself.
Just finished watching DSG's media workout and also watched Spence's. Though I agree that Spence should be favored, I'm a bit concerned about this fight. Spence has that southern twang, but his speech is now noticeably slurred. I even went back and watched his post-fight Mikey and Porter interviews, and his speech was clearer. I do think the accident may have taken something from him. DSG is a calm, sturdy, hard-punching, and nifty boxer who wins. DSG's major flaw, in my opinion, is not letting his hands go enough. Spence deserves credit for taking this fight. Anyone predicting a blowout or shutout is mistaken. If DSG wins, I would not be surprised one bit. Looking forward to your detailed prediction.
Quick question: Though, as you pointed out, scoring fights after the fact is artificial, I enjoy doing it. I score each round by the minute which makes sense to me because its' an odd numbered length of time. Of course, even if a fighter has lost the first two minutes of a round, if they do something dramatic, like hurt the other guy, they could still win that round. If you were given the opportunity to train judges (help save boxing) to apply the scoring criteria, how would you tell them to break down a round?
Author of Never Stop: A Memoir
Bread’s Response: interesting…..You know I don’t like to jump to conclusions. Sometimes a fighter can be tired and dragging and sound sluggish. So I don’t want to go there. There will be a natural micromanagement of anything Errol does because of the accident. And I don’t want to do that.
My breakdown is this. I believe we can have two types of fights. One where Errol realizes that Danny can hurt him and decides to JUST win. He caught flack for his performance vs Mikey Garcia. Errol realized that Mikey couldn’t deal with a simple jab and step back move. He knew that Mikey was short and he needed to step in hard to land his shots and he just couldn’t cut the distance. Mikey is a guy who takes one step in order to get to the opponent and Errol created more space than Mikey could overcome. I was impressed with the performance but many wanted excitement. There is a difference between being impressive and being exciting. Errol has a much better JAB than Danny does. Danny has to find a way to neutralize Errol’s jab.
On the other hand Errol can be in his more natural mode of fighting downhill like he did vs Chris Algieri and Lamont Peterson. The problem with fighting like that is that gives Danny more of chance to win. Because Danny while not overly athletic does have one special gift. He can stand in the danger zone and punch exactly while his opponents are punching.
My gut tells me emotions will be running high and Errol will bring it. I also believe Danny will because if Danny wins this fight, he’s a HOF. I think Errol has the better jab. Danny sort of hooks around a jab. Errol keeps his hands in place and never bows his elbows. His punching technique is on point. But I actually think Danny can improvise a little quicker. I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny got the better of the hard exchanges even with Errol being more athletic.
From what I have seen Errol has better feet. He can use them to get in position better. Danny sort of uses his head dips to get into position to punch. Danny brings his head down and the opponent’s eyes follow his head and lose track of his LOOPING shots. They go about things total different.
Errol has shown a higher workrate. There have been times when Danny could have stepped on it in fights and he hasn’t. I don’t think it’s a lack of conditioning though. I think he likes to fight in a certain zone and he doesn’t come out of it. It’s just how he processes a fight and he stays WITHIN himself. It has cost him some close losses and controversial fights but that’s just who he is. It also allows him to CLIP people.
I think they both have solid chins. But I do think Errol his vulnerable to loopy shots. Errol kept complaining that Lamont Peterson was hitting him in the back of head. I couldn’t tell if they were fouls but Peterson was in front of him when they landed. I bring this up because most fighters have a vulnerable spot. They are human beings. Earlier in Errol’s career vs Emanuel Lartey, Errol was buzzed with a shot high on the head. I never forgot that and I believe Peterson knew that too that’s why he was looping his shots. Danny Garcia is the master of looping shots.
In the past because of how good of a counter puncher Danny is, no one ever went to his body consistently. Errol may be the best body puncher in boxing. I really wonder if he will go to Danny’s body.
I think both fighters have flaws that are the other’s strengths. I don’t have a pick just yet but I do think we will see a great fight and I wouldn’t be surprised if both guys were hurt or dropped. I expect intensity. Both have something to prove. Danny doesn’t want to lose to his 3 best opponents in his career. He’s prideful. Errol wants to prove he’s not only BACK but he’s the BEST. Pride is one HELLUVA motivation.
About hitting power:
Do fighters who fight off the step usually hit harder than fighters who fight off the bounce?
Also, would a strong upper back contribute to increased hitting power since more muscle is there to contain the power, so less force is "leaked" out the back when you are landing a punch. I know you mentioned hard bones and strong grip, but does a strong upper back also contribute to punching power?
I heard situps are counterproductive to punching power and that there are better abdominal exercises for punching power? Is this true? If so, what are they?
Bread’s Response: Great question. From my experience observing fighters the hardest punches are off the step. Joe Louis, George Foreman, Alexis Arguello, Wilfredo Gomez are step fighters. But Ray Robinson was a bounce fighter and he would knock you dead. But yes I think step fighters overall are harder punchers with bounce fighters usually being a little quicker on the trigger.
I actually think that a strong back does contribute to good punching power. I think that’s one of the reasons fighters chopped. And chopping wood increases grip, forearm, shoulder and back power. Back strength also helps fighters bring back that shots. Snapping back in place. Last but not least back strength can help with grappling and avoiding clinches. Because fighters do everything forward, most don’t develop strong backs. Good pick up.
I never heard sit ups are counter productive to punching power. But there are other things you can do to increase ab strength. One exercise I like for punching power that also increases the abs are turning of cables. It helps with the hips, and abs while increasing the TURN into a punch.
Sorry to hear about Jules...
Tarver had a method when he fought Roy the second time if you noticed whenever Roy moved left Tarver would jab him back to his right to set up that left hand KO shot, that was the end for the great Roy Jones.
If you'll also notice Roy was holding the phone with his right hand a defensive tactic used against the left hook of an orthodox fighter, not against the straight left of a southpaw. Seeing that made me believe that Roy didn't spar with enough southpaw in preparation for the 2nd Tarver fight and my have been sparring orthodox fighters instead, underestimating Tarver.
If only Roy had stayed at heavyweight.
What do you think about Tyson vs Jones?
I'm kind of afraid for Roy but some pundits have said that Roy has the advantage having fought within the last two years while Tyson has been out of the ring much longer.
Bread’s Response: Man you’re right about Tarver. He really knew how to fight Roy. He had Roy’s movements down pact. He wasn’t as fast as Roy but he was QUICK when it came to processing Roy. He was also patient which I believe drove Roy a little crazy. In the 1st round Roy fought good but Tarver was ON him. Tarver just missed a kill shot in the 1st round. What scared me was Roy didn’t make him miss, Tarver just missed the shot. I was nervous because Roy was my guy and my uncle who is a HATER of anything of great, was at my house rooting against Roy. He finally got his satisfaction in the 2nd round when Roy got clipped. I remember the night so clearly. He literally claimed the punch wasn’t that hard and Roy shouldn’t have been hurt by a shot like that. What an idiot! That was a brutal shot from a great puncher!
Yes you’re right Roy did have his right hand up, Tarver’s shot just slipped through. But I don’t think it was because Roy didn’t know how to fight southpaws. I think Tarver angled the shot and double stepped in after Roy had just punched. Roy had just threw a right hand and Tarver followed it back with a left hand forcing Roy to defend with the same hand he just punched WITH. Roy was one of the best southpaw fighters ever. If you remember in the fight before he had just defeated Tarver. Roy also fought Eric Harding, Lou Del Valle, Reggie Johnson, Otis Grant and Antione Byrd. They were all southpaws during Roy’s reigns from 160-75. And he beat them all. I don’t think Roy had trouble or didn’t spar enough southpaws at all.
I think it was a Tarver thing. Tarver was just Roy’s Ken Norton. Tarver was patient. He didn’t step in too far with his jab. Which Roy used to parry with his right hand and come over the top with a hook. But it was harder for him to get Tarver to commit. Tarver also could punch. So his threat level was high. Roy could usually lay back and pot shot a guy but he couldn’t just do that to Tarver.
If Roy would’ve stayed at heavyweight….
I don’t think I will watch Roy vs Mike. Honestly I’m very nervous for both but more so for Roy. I just don’t think either can afford to get kod in their 50s. I think at some point taking punches to the head is something you have to be careful of. I know personally I felt funny taking shots after not sparring for about a year and I was about 30. Tyson has been off forever and Roy is old and has been kod badly 5x.
I’m glad they both are making some money. I love to see that. But watching them fight will bother me. For some reason I don’t like to see fighters I grew up on get hurt or attached to get hurt. I can watch any fighter today fight but guys like Jones, Tyson, Holyfield, Leonard and Pacman all bothered me to see them get stopped. You can’t help how you feel. The more I write the more I know I won’t be watching this live. And if one gets brutally kod I definitely won’t watch the replay. I still can’t look at Tyson vs McBride or Williams. I can’t watch Jones vs Lebedev, Johnson, Greene or Enzo. I just can’t stomach it.
But for the record I am in no way telling you guys to not support this event. These guys want to make money so I hope they do. This is just a personal thing for me.
Errol Spence looks overtrained to me. I am picking Danny Garcia to ko him within 6 rounds. I looked at his workout and he has no fat on him. He looks to be down to the bone. Everyone is so impressed with it but I look at it differently. If he struggled to make weight in the past, then why is he so small so early? Danny on the other hand was not working as hard but he looked fit, sharp and alert. What do your educated eyes tell you?
Bread’s Response: I didn’t watch Errol’s media workout but I have heard several people say what you said. I don’t know Errol well enough as far as how his weight should look to say if he’s overtrained or not. His trainer knows his body better than us. I will give it a look and see if I see something. But I don’t like to over analyze. Errol knows what he has to do to get into shape.
Danny always looks sharp and locked in. He’s not the kind of guy that will go off in front of the cameras and over exert himself. I don’t have to see his workout to know how he’s go about things. Let’s see if Danny can use Errol’s eagerness against him. Danny and Errol train different. Just like their styles are different.
I just got done watching the Spence open workout from the prior week and Ray Flores asked him at what point after sparring was he comfortable in taking on someone dangerous like Danny, and he responded with something like, "I agreed to the fight before I even sparred." Wow! I don't think people realize just how big of a ballsy move that is and how big of a risk he is taking. The man went flying out of his car and was completely knocked out and got some teeth replaced and he still refused to take a tune up fight and wanted a top guy, Not to mention he is the money man of the division behind Pacquiao and will be fighting off a 14.5 month lay off. It goes back to what you once said. Most fighters that fight come from nothing yet Spence had a good household and grew up in suburbs yet still chose this sport. The man just likes to fight and compete. If he is able to return to form and come through in this fight, he is going to be pretty damn impossible to beat. The self-belief in him and the will is going to be unmatched. Crawford is equally as stubborn though so the "Dog" in both fighters will be on full display if we ever get that match up.
You brought up an interesting point about Brook and how well schooled and skilled he is, but falls apart when adversity hits. Now my question is, can you fix that or improve that with a fighter? Doesn't that just come down to their heart and in some cases fighting instincts? If you were training him or someone similar, how do you go about it? Do you put him in tough sparring where he is facing adversity in camp and can get used to of it before the actual fight? Curious to hear your answer.
Have a blessed thanksgiving and take care!
Bread’s Response: If I had a menu of a background for a kid to train from scratch I would pick Errol Spence’s background or one similar. Middle Class and active, resourceful, strong, loving, role model parents. As much as boxing produces great fighters from desolate circumstances, those fighters often have character issues that are too hard to overcome. Now Spence is not perfect. He likes to party just like any other rich young kid, but the job that his father has done with him speaks volumes. Errol is not ANGRY at the world. He’s COMPETITIVE with it. The results can be the same but there is a difference. Look at Errol close. He’s keeps a young guy with him I assume a close best friend, his coach, his dad and one other recognizable face. He has the right support group around him. Nothing is perfect but trust me this is what you want.
I think Errol is at the stage of his career where training is a grind. He’s 30 and he puts in the work. He’s undefeated so his confidence is sky high. Going through the grind of a camp against an overmatched opponent does nothing for him at this point. Fighters need motivation and he’s intelligent. Grinding for 2 or 3 months is no joke.
Taking on Danny is a tough fight but I think all fighters should be like this. In another era this is common. In this era it’s a big deal. Let’s not forget Errol is still a big favorite….I’ve seen fighters take this type of fight as an underdog!
As far as Brook, adversity and resistance are different. Most world class fighters can take resistance. In fact all can at certain levels. But adversity is different. For whatever reason, when Brook is in a fight where he can’t CONTROL the temperature he loses. I think it comes down to IQ and composure. He doesn’t LACK HEART.
Any and everything can be fixed. But that doesn’t mean it WILL be fixed. In Brook’s case you have to trust your instincts as a trainer. You know what you see. You have to observe what gets Brook into these adversarial circumstances that he doesn’t respond to well. Then you have to talk about it with him. Sometimes a weakness is something a fighter doesn’t know he has and it creeps up on him without him realizing it. AWARENESS.
Raise his level of awareness. Make him realize exactly what’s happening to get him into trouble and exactly how he should respond. Trouble shoot the problems. It can be overcame.
I never say things like you can’t build punching power. You can’t teach heart. You can make anything better. It just takes the right teacher and right student.
The first hurdle in overcoming a problem is getting the fighter to realize there is one. Often times things are dismissed as “getting caught”. Or saying a fighter is the “better man on THAT night”. I’m guilty of using both terms but I don’t like them. Compartmentalizing things in sort of a lightning strike luck type of thing is not good. When in fact that’s just the easy way out. It’s easier to say that you just got caught, than it is to say that you come apart mentally in certain spots…..
After you identify the problem, you come up with a common solution to it. Then you drill it over and over and over.
Brook has lost 3x. And although Crawford didn’t get a chance to really starting working him over. Each fight progressed the same way. Brook starting out sharp and skilled. And the opponents GGG, Spence and most recently Crawford all stepping up the intensity and Brook getting stopped. That’s no coincidence. I hope he can overcome it. I think Kell Brook is a fine fighter.
Hope you're well.
Tomorrow, you have to bet fast.
Boots vs Crawford in January
Boots vs Spence in January
Bookies have it 8/1 for the two world champs.
Do you bet money on him?
The Canelo case is very interesting.
He has, without a doubt, one of the best resume and the most experience in the game.
Yet, all of his fights above 154 have an asterisk. Smith, Trout, Lara were legit at the time, young and hungry.
You pointed out that a fighter's resume can be micro-analyzed and picked apart. True. But some wins are absolute. Some unifications, or unbeaten vs unbeaten. Best (or close to best) version vs best version. They do exist.
Ali vs Frazier/Foreman, Duran/SRL...
Or recently: Taylor vs Prograis, Gvodzyk vs Beterbiev, etc... Prime vs prime, unbeaten, etc...
Back to Canelo. When's the last time he beat a fighter in his prime? Let alone peaking?
On one hand, I know, I see, and I have Canelo in my top five P4P, resume plus skills.
At the same time, there's not one performance where he showed me he truly dominated, ala Crawford, a dangerous opponent in his prime. Maybe Jacobs but he was already struggling with weight/rehydration. GGG is twice debatable.
But the names above 160 are great. The truth, less.
Above 160 we have dehydrated passive Chavez, Fielding, and twice stopped cashing out Kovalev.
What does it say about Smith chances? Do these three wins help you with your prediction, or do you base yourself more on his 160 run?
I like Smith. But he has one good win, vs old one-armed Grove, and the controversial win against the limited poor version of Canelo (stature wise) in Ryder.
Fielding is Fielding.
So... It's very hard for me to pick a winner. My head, and everybody, says Canelo. More experience, excellent body puncher, more prepared, Smith struggling with weight.
It seems to be an easy Canelo win.
Yet, one year ago, I truly believed that Beterbiev was the only one destroying Canelo (at 175) and gave a good shot at Smith & Benavidez in a war of attrition - and Caleb outboxing him (all wrong stylistically).
One year ago I wanted Smith. We all wanted it. Smith is huge, strong, and in his prime.
But perception changed.
His poor performance vs Ryder, the very short notice of the fight (3 weeks and a half of camp for such a complete and dangerous fighter as Canelo), make me think Canelo will get the W impressively.
How do you see the fight playing out?
And did you see it differently one year ago? Smith pre disappointed Ryder and with 10 weeks instead of 4ish?
I recall you saying Smith was more than live, if not 50/50, about one year ago.
Bread’s Response: Boots! Yes I would. I’m not saying I would pick him to win straight up right now because it’s too hard to tell changing levels of competition. But I am saying no one in the world at 147-154 should be an 8 to 1 favorite over him. He’s just too talented and too young and fresh. So yes I would take those odds all day.
You know Canelo’s resume is excellent. It’s better than excellent. I think you are micromanaging but you aren’t lying. You’re just looking at his resume from a half empty perspective instead of a half full one.
Because Canelo is the shot caller he can make advantageous fights that others can’t. It’s just how it is. But I’m not going to nit pick his resume that’s not fair. I will say that you make some interesting points.
Here is the thing though. Canelo is not a dominant fighter. He’s a GREAT one. Some fighters don’t overwhelm their opponents. They raise their games accordingly. Carlos Monzon an ATG was similar. He had some close calls vs Griffith, Valdez and Briscoe. But he won them ALL. Canelo showed me some nasty stuff vs GGG. He displayed more of his skillset regardless of who you thought won.
To answer you directly the last elite fighter I think he beat in his prime was Erislandy Lara in 2014 and that fight was also controversial. But Canelo finds a way you have to respect that. Taking that Lara fight in less than a year he was beaten by Floyd and previously struggling with a southpaw in Austin Trout, was one of the most ballsy fights I have ever seen an A side fighter take. I was there live and that was an incredibly hard fight for Canelo. I knew he was a GUN that day. That’s a fight most guys with his status don’t take. And then you top it off with Lara outperforming vs Trout. Wow! I know boxing and things behind the scenes that no one will ever speak on publicly. And yes fighters do DUCK hard styles. Yes they do try to PICK easier fights. Canelo didn’t in the Lara case.
I did think Smith would be 50/50 with Canelo last year but I know longer think that. Currently I think it’s 65/35 Canelo. Canelo has really refined his skill set at moving forward. Canelo stamina seems better for a few reasons. One is because he has more calories to burn at higher weights. And two is because his defense is so good now at coming forward that he can walk towards a guy and block and parry in such a relaxed state that he doesn’t have to worry about getting clipped. Calm and relaxed fighters always have better stamina.
Regardless if Canelo is dominant or not I see major improvements in his game. From what I have seen Smith has the physical tools to beat him but he doesn’t have the layers in his game. Canelo’s ring presence is enough to drive a fighter nuts. Battle is a tense thing and Canelo is calm under fire. Always has been but now he’s better.
I think Smith will have his moments. But I think his size will work against him. Canelo is too sharp for a big target. Believe it or not Canelo would have more trouble with a smaller faster guy than he would a bigger guy. Canelo still has his 154lb reflexes while fighting these bigger men and it shows. He still doesn’t have an all out gear, so he may give up rounds taking his times, but other than that he’s a complete fighting machine. I like Canelo by late stoppage or competitive but comfortable decision.
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