The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Jaron Ennis, Erickson Lubin, Terrel Gausha, the junior middleweight division, the Charlo brothers, and more.
I follow young fighters intensely because I like to be the first to predict a future champion. So I have to give you, your props. You made five predictions that still stand. I know you were training Julian Williams but you predicted he would be champion when no one believed it. I saw Williams at the USA Championships and I thought he would be a decent contender, tops. Then you said that Terence Crawford was better than Adrien Broner. This was in 2013! My god that comment has aged well. Next you started talking about a little fighter from your gym that could run his miles in sub 6 minute. Stephen Fulton. He’s really emerging at this point. Then you spoke highly of Josh Taylor and he’s become a top ten Pound for Pound fighter. And last but not least you said that Jaron “Boots” Ennis was every bit as good as Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez. And I think he could be better. Great Scouting eye, my friend.
I notice you try to give us a historical analogy of fighters. Like Jrock is a mix of Bhop and Terry Norris. And Ennis is a mix of Roy Jones and Mark Johnson. It’s almost down to an exact replica. When I was watching Ennis, I’m like that’s exactly who is. What did you think of his performance? Where does he go from here?
Also how does Lubin stack up at 154? What did you think of his performance? And is it over for Gausha? He doesn’t seem to be able to get over the hump. I saw your predictions and you hit each one exactly.
Bread’s Response: Sometimes we confuse promotional push and actual talent. Because Ennis was not getting the same treatment as other fighters, people assumed he wasn’t as good. The BUSINESS side of boxing is just as important as the athletic side. But now the world will see.
I had Ennis in camp in 2014 when he was 17 years old. I knew from the very 1st sparring session he was more than special. As far as his performance. It’s exactly what I thought it would be. I don’t think Ennis is the ONE SHOT KO GUY that Roy Jones was, so it will take him some time to wear down more elite opponents. But he’s MEAN. Very MEAN. Not just fake MEAN. MEAN fighters are the best finishers. He also goes to the body consistently. Consistent body punchers also get loads of stoppages. At this point my only critique of Ennis is he may trade a little too much for my liking. At the top level anyone can be clipped. ANYONE. But Ennis is young and vibrant and he hasn’t been hurt yet so……Youth will make you take those chances.
I don’t think Ennis will get a title shot until he becomes a MANDATORY. It’s really that simple. Just like lots of other talented, well rounded fighters of the last few years. No one is going to give him a VOLUNTARY shot. He’s too talented.
What’s next? Someone a little better than his last opponent. Someone in the top 10. But when you see a fighter this talented the progressive matchmaking is NEVER perfect step by step because the perfect opponents usually price themselves out.
I thought Lubin did well. He’s a very talented fighter. He has fast hands. He hits hard. He’s mean. He’s a real fighter and he’s not gun shy from being stopped. However, I see that Lubin is trying to reinvent himself. He’s trying to be more boxer than boxer puncher. That’s not really his natural temperament. He’s a killer. But he can be hurt. His chin is not bad but it’s not dent proof. I think he will win a title at some point. But I also think he will have some ups and downs. Because he’s so talented offensively it’s a dilemma to not open up more but when you open up you can get clipped. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.
Terrell Gausha is a solid fighter. But his conservative personality sort of haunts him. In this era most of the fighters will have between 30-40 fights. Gausha has about 24. And two elite level fights with Lara and Lubin. And in both of those fights he waited too long to let his hands go. That’s a trend at this point. He stepped to Lubin late and did well but by doing that he put himself in position to get clipped. So he waited on Lubin to slow down a bit and it cost him the fight as far as points.
Again I think Gausha is a solid fighter and a really nice guy. But my eyes don’t lie to me and I feel he left a little food on the table in both of his big opportunities. I have a saying. “You can’t hit the lottery if you don’t play.”
Writing this after reading Dougie’s mailbag. In this one, he was talking about a possible future showdown between Boots Ennis and Vergil Ortiz Jr. He said it had the possibility of being this generation’s Chavez vs Taylor. Agree?
This is a bit different from my other write-ins. I was wondering/hoping you could do a fight breakdown of Boots Ennis vs Vergil Ortiz Jr. Who wins that fight? How?
Bread’s Response: I won’t make a prediction yet because it’s too early to tell. The elite level reveals things about fighters we don’t KNOW until they perform there. Do you remember fighters like Ricardo Williams and Francisco Bojado?
What I do know is it’s too early. I’m all for fighters testing themselves. I even like some undefeated prospect match ups. But these kids are uber talents and are too close to being ranked in the top 10 to fight now. You don’t make a 250k fight in 2020, when it will be 5million in 2022. No over cooking. Just two years. Both should go after titles next year. And in 2022 get it on.
I like them both. I think Ennis is a super talented slick, sling punching, boxer puncher. I think Ortiz is a fundamentally sound, fast, volume attacker. Both are mean. Both are big for the weight. Both are big punchers. Both can finish. Both seem to want to be great. Before the BUSINESS energy sets in on them, I hope they make the fight.
Yes I think it can be this generations Chavez vs Taylor. Or maybe Oscar vs Shane. It’s a huge fight between a Mexican American and Black American. The fans eat this matchup up and these kids are talented enough to inherit the spot.
If I had a quarter for every time I’ve seen a pressure fighter following a mover around the ring I would be a rich man, but it always confuses me that a world-rated pressure fighter would struggle with cutting the ring off because I would have figured that we be the primary thing they train to do. As someone who has never boxed before, could you help me understand why this happens? How often is this technical deficiency on the part of the aggressor as opposed to the mover making it hard?
And lastly, speaking of pressure fighters, my favorite heavyweight is Smokin’ Joe Frazier. I have always believed in my gut that he would have been champion during the era of the Klitschko brothers and the Joshua-Fury-Wilder era just because he was so tough and the eye test says he was a better operator in there, but the height and size of Foreman, who was about Wilder’s size and smaller than the others, did contribute to his unfortunate bludgeoning, so it’s hard to say. What do you think?
Bread’s Response: Elite pressure fighting is the most physically demanding style in all of boxing. That’s why you don’t see any over 35. They all burn out in their late 20s and early 30s. Ricky Hatton, Jeff Fenech, Joe Frazier, Aaron Pryor…..
The reason you don’t see some cutting the ring off is because it’s not as easy as you assume. Some fighters understand the angle. Some just go forward because they can’t win going backwards. You also have to factor in the punching power of the opponent and footwork. The opponent has some say in that. It’s not easy to track a fighter down, not get hit with big punches, move towards his punches and still get your shots off.
I think Joe Frazier would be just fine in this era. He would have all of the advantages of modern training and recovery. He was a 15 round machine 50 years ago. So let’s say he’s 210-15lbs today that’s big enough. I think Deontay Wilder has proved that weight is just a number.
Frazier has better technical skills than Wilder. He’s just a more skilled and natural all around fighter. His engine would be hard on these heavyweights. Foreman beat Frazier because Foreman is not only a big puncher but he’s brute strong. He fought with his hands. He knew how to STEER Frazier. He knew how to push Frazier to disrupt is bopping rhythm. Foreman was special and just because he could do it that doesn’t mean anyone can. Actually no one else did except Ali.
I think Frazier would stop Wlad brutally. Wlad just doesn’t have the engine or temperament to beat Frazier. He fatigues too easily under pressure. Lamon Brewster and Sam Peter are no where near Joe Frazier’s level in terms of skill and pressure. But both are close to his height in stature. Both bullied Wlad. I feel comfortable picking Frazier.
I think Frazier and Vitali is a much closer fight. But I think Frazier can get under Vitali. Punching down creates leverage but punching down too far creates openings for the smaller fighter. They may have to fight 3x because Vitali is physically tougher than Wald. But my coin flip is Frazier again.
Joe Frazier was a monster. Watch his fights with Bob Foster, Jerry Quarry, Buster Mathis and Ali 1. The Frazier from 68-71 was as good as it gets. That Ali 1 performance may be the best pressure fighting in boxing history. He had even lost a step by time he fought Foreman. His style took a toll on him. Especially in the 70s when 30 was old and there was no modern recovery.
Hey Breadman! Love the mailbag and glad to be writing in for the first time. I find myself getting frustrated with unappreciative fans and fans not understanding that this is also a business. A business where people risk their health for others entertainment, thus it's important to make smart decisions. With that said I believe the 154lb division is the dog division. People ask for the best to face the best sooner rather than later at that is all we've been seeing recently from the 154lb guys. Thanks for your contribution to that. This is why I don't illegally stream fights. I'm glad to pay them full price for their health risk. I wish these fighters could have made more. If there were promoter beefs at 154 they probably would have made more money due to the build up and conservative match making. Charlo vs Rosario with Charlo vs Chenko deserves to be PPV imo. Spence and Bud will be paid well due to the promoter beefs and building of resume. Its actually playing out perfectly for them. Hopefully it happens within the next year and nobody takes a loss or career damaging punishment in the meantime. So my question, How do you view the competitiveness in the 154lb division? Is it slept on by most fans? Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong and comment on any other topics I meantioned. I'd love to get your insider wisdom. Much appreciated!
Bread’s Response: Junior Middleweight is the most competitive division in boxing. If it’s not the best it’s definitely the most competitive. It seems to have 10 or so fighters that can all beat each other on any given night. There is no dominant fighter who is head and shoulders above everyone else. But Jermell Charlo seems to be the most consistent in terms of winning. Erislandy Lara is elder capable statesman. Julian Williams, Jarrett Hurd and Tony Harrison are the ex champions but still major players. Erickson Lubin, Iss Madrimov, Sebastian Fundora and Charles Conwell are the young guns. Jeison Rosario is the wild card. And Brian Castano is the undefeated vet. This era will be looked back on as a Golden Era in the division’s history. This era was better than Terry Norris’s era. And deeper than Tito’s and Vargas’s.
If Spence vs Crawford does not happen in 2021, then it’s officially over cooked. Both are in their 30s. Both are in the top 10 P4P. Both are undefeated. And Spence has a tough fight coming up vs Danny Garcia. A bad performance or loss can ruin a Super Fight. It’s about that time.
Canelo has the best resume out of your top 10 P4P. I think he should be #1 because of it. Why is he #3 and Crawford and Lomachenko who don’t have anywhere near the resume he has?
Bread’s Response: Great question. Manny Pacquiao has the best resume in boxing. Better than Canelo’s. He’s not #1 P4P because they are other fighters who are better at this point. It’s simple. Resume counts for a lot but it’s not the END ALL.
Actually I think 4 fighters stand out among the rest. Crawford, Loma, Canelo and Monster. Those 4 are better than everyone else. If any of them have a great performance vs an elite the P4P gets shaken up. But on most days I think Crawford has the edge. But if Loma dominates Lopez then he’s the #1 guy.
My reason for putting Loma and Crawford slightly over Canelo is most importantly I think they would beat him if they were all the same size. Not by a lot but I think they would. My other reason is Canelo while great, has had a handful of struggles vs a fighters that I think Loma and Crawford would handle without controversy.
Also I want to say something about a resume. It definitely counts and Canelo deserves major props, he’s a killer. And that Lara fight showed unbelievable BALLS. No one takes that fight in 2014 except Canelo. But Canelo is the LOTTERY. No one ducks him. Everyone wants him. So credit to him for being ballsy, but he can make any fight he wants. Fighters and Managers keep their fighters away from Loma and Crawford. They won’t admit it but they do. If you know, then you know.
So in boxing a resume can be deceiving. Some fighters can fight who they want, because they are capable but not deathly dangerous. Then you have fighters who are the lottery and they can fight who they want. A resume has to be held in proper context just like everything else. And before you say it I’m not saying I don’t wish Crawford had a better resume at 147. But he’s still the best fighter in the world in my opinion, with Canelo, Loma and Monster on his heels after each performance.
How many PPV buys do you think The Charlo Brothers will do this weekend? And what’s a good number for this economy?
Bread’s Response: Oooohh. Let’s see. Because no one can actually go to the fight I think that will up the buys. I think the $75 may be a factor because people are not doing well financially. But I assume the Charlo’s have high guarantees and the people in charge don’t want to lose money. I say 150k buys generates $11,250,000. I think that covers the card and purses. So I think 150k is the goal and I actually think it does between 150k-200k buys. I think the Houston area will come out and support them and I expect 2 hard, violent fights.
Wassup OG? As we move forward towards the end of the year I hope you and your family are still able to be safe and maintain your livelihood. It's been a hell of a year.
Who are the best “students of the game” in boxing today? What does your boxing EYE show you with some of the upcoming prospects and also young champions? What fighters in today's era let you know not only are they meticulous with the study of their craft but they've also studied the great champions of previous eras?
For example, Roy Jones Jr would often bait opponents into throwing a lead jab that would fall short by positioning his guard, heady,and center of mass over his lead leg. He would also from that same position throw a lead right hand on a cadence unexpected from the opponent. Later during the Mayweather era he has done the same and is known for his "pull-counter". In today's modern era we've seen Errol Spence Jr set the trap and throw that same counter from the southpaw stance. Would love to hear your opinion here without giving away any free game!
Stephen from Dallas
Bread’s Response: Aw Man. I love this question. As time goes on athletes in general mock the athletes that came before them. If you watch fighters of the 70s they flicked their jabs on their toes. Why, because Ali was the ICON. In the 90s, guys held their hands out in front like RJ. Watch an early fight of Andre Ward. He looked just like Roy Jones in his movement.
I don’t know if Floyd mimicked RJ but they definitely pulled you in with what I call a “bait” stance. Then they both countered with right hands. Before Ray Leonard the natural sequence of a hook was to the body then head. But Leonard started hooking in a different sequence. Head then body. RJ started doing it and it works great if you want to get that liver shot in.
I watched Fernando Vargas pull fighters gloves down and rip short hooks around the gloves. I also watched Felix Trinidad bump fighters then immediately throw power shots. In 2010 I taught Julian Williams those moves because he is of similar height and dimensions to both give or take an inch. We all get things from the past and try to enhance it.
I think Jaron Ennis is a student. I think he studies Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather. I can tell by some of his movements.
I think Ryan Garcia studies Ray Robinson. He tries to rip left hooks like Robinson. Robinson is the best hooker I have ever seen.
I think Devin Haney watches some Ray Leonard. Just his overall flashy presence.
I think Terence Crawford studies Pernell Whitaker.
I think Errol Spence studies Marvin Hagler and Donald Curry.
For the record. I don’t know any of this for a fact. This is just assumptions by me.