The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison, Terence Crawford and his welterweight options, yearly award picks, Ray Robinson, some views on 2020, and more.
What’s up Breadman,
Food for thought and your absolute truthful unbiased opinion (as always). So here goes.
Right time for the right fights, but when is that, if at all.
How can Timothy Bradley honestly and emphatically say that the PBC fighters are ducking Terrance Crawford when that isn’t the case as far as I know. If you go back and look at the timeline and the facts, you can see it clearly.
Danny Garcia called him out.
Shawn Porter called him out now (whom TC stated he would fight but now refuses to fight, just to take on it appears to be jr welters)
Errol Spence definitely called him out (but due to unforeseen circumstances is sidelined for the time being as well as pending a Danny Garcia fight later in the year)
That being said why is Bob Arum and or Terrance Crawford or both, constantly make up excuses rather than just saying we don’t want to fight. That way everyone can go about their business and pursue other interests. For them to say that the money isn’t there for the top welterweights is absurd. I understand this is the fight game and dollars make sense. Right now fighters not fighting each other makes no sense. How long do they think that the public is going to hang on to them fighting lesser known opponents or worse yet they suffer a defeat? I understand taking certain fight here and there, but c’mon man.
Furthermore, while TC passes the eyeball test he is not the best welterweight in the division. I personally believe him to be no better than fourth or fifth behind Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao (even at this stage of his career), and Keith Thurman. Lastly, should the fight between Crawford and Porter take place…. Porter gets him between by the eighth.
As far as Timothy Bradley goes, he had the opportunity to fight a couple of those guys I mentioned but didn’t for reason not known to me. And, for him to vehemently go on this rant of his while on ESPN he needs to do better, not going to bash and trash him, but he needs to do better. Besides what will the narrative be if TC get beats by a lesser known opponent? We know what the story would be if he beat even one of the top Welterweights.
What are your thoughts on TC’s career choices as I believe you have more insight on this then I do and what is his legacy going to be like if these fights or at least a couple of them don’t come to fruition?
Bread’s Response: Thank you for the compliment but I disagree with you about Terence Crawford. There is NO way that Terence Crawford is the 4th or 5th best fighter at welterweight. He has a case for being the best fighter in the world at this current moment not just welterweight. No one else at welterweight can say that. Not even Errol Spence who is the best PBC welterweight.
I don’t remember anyone calling Crawford out. However I do think Shawn Porter would fight him at this current moment. But I would favor Crawford over everyone except Spence which I believe is EVEN MONEY.
I think Bob Arum and Top Rank are in a pickle with Crawford. They have to figure something out and fast. They may have to over pay for the RIGHT opponent. Let’s see what they have up their sleeves.
I believe Crawford is a HOF at this point. If he gets some BIG fights at 147 then he could move to ATG status.
I do agree with you about Tim Bradley. I don’t understand why he snapped like that attacking so many fighters who have nothing to do with why Crawford can’t get a big fight. Bradley attacked the entire PBC stable except Deontay Wilder. Crawford signed with Top Rank and the best welterweights in the world are with PBC. It’s no one’s FAULT but it’s Crawford and his PROMOTER’S job to get him the big fights. The PBC does not have to help promote and further Crawford’s career. BOXING is a SPORT and a BUSINESS.
I commend Crawford for showing loyalty to Top Rank. Boxing is a game where loyalty is rarely shown. But loyalty comes with a price in every situation. Some companies pay you more relative to market value but promote you less. Some companies you fight on an APP but you get paid well. Some companies promote you great but you’re BIG fights are limited. Whatever company you sign with, there are PROS and CONS.
When a fighter doesn’t make weight- who is to blame, a incompetent trainer or a lazy fighter. As a trainer besides talent what are other attributes that you look for in a fighter?(work ethic, desire ,friends they have etc.) If you could pick one fight in the history of boxing to be at ringside what would it be?
Hagler vs Spinks (175)
Sanchez vs Arguello (135)
Mugabi vs Trinidad(154)
Holyfield vs J. Quarry (cruiserweight)
J.Chandler vs Inoue (118)
Cooney vs Joshua (heavyweights)
Always a pleasure,
Bread’s Response: It’s the trainer and fighter’s RESPONSIBILITY to make weight. But if weight is NOT made it’s usually because of two things. The fighter is lazy and irresponsible or he needs to move up. Very simple. If a fighter checks his weight every single day in or out of camp, his way will never get out of control. But most irresponsible fighters don’t and it causes problems after camp starts.
I think I would pick to be ringside for Leonard vs Hearns1. That atmosphere was electric. They were fighting for the #1 spot in the world. Just a huge event and fight. The 80s is most likely the best decade ever of boxing. Those two guys stood out.
I’m not feeling your mythical match ups.
Hagler is a career middleweight. And you match him up vs a huge lightheavyweight who had the physicality to move up to heavyweight and win a title. That makes no sense. Seriously it’s like matching Carl Froch up with Evander Holyfield.
Sanchez vs Arguello was being talked about. I don’t know how Sanchez would have looked at 135 but I think Arguello was getting older by the time they would have fought. I say Sanchez.
Tito clips Mugabi in a shootout.
Flip a coin on Chandler vs Inoue
Holyfield over Quarry in a great fight.
Cooney clips Joshua with a one shot hook ko.
Harrison doesn't really have confidence, he was hiding the lack thereof with talk! He out talked Charlo but really didn't have the confidence to back it up. If you look at a fighter closely his gestures tell the story.
Charlo was winging big shots that were missing a lot but the few that landed had KO potential. A crafty fighter like Harrison shouldn't have gotten hit by those shots.
Joshua is finished!
Ruiz only has himself to blame for his arrogance and underestimation of Joshua along with the fact he came in 15+ lbs overweight!
When Wilder KOs Fury in the rematch Joshua will be running again but his star isn't as bright as it was before the first Ruiz fight.
Wilder is bigger physically but Tank will sell more tickets only because though a knock out artist Deontay is one dimensional.
Tank has style which he will show tonight while demolishing Gamboa.
Tank is a very wise young man and is figuring things out. He has the ability to defeat most if not all the 130-135lbers. Tank is the next big star!
Bread’s Response: You’re usually on point. But I disagree with you about Tony Harrison. I think he has confidence with Charlo. It’s something about Charlo he feels confident about beating. It’s why he fought him the way he did. Harrison had gotten to the point where he was really a stick and mover since Willie Nelson beat him. But he went into attack mode vs Charlo for a reason. Confidence.
I think you’re confusing lack of confidence with misguided actions. I think Tony was counter productive with some of the things he was doing but I don’t think he lacks confidence vs Charlo. Maybe with other guys but again not Charlo. He turned in his career best performance vs Charlo.
Harrison is not what I call a defensive guy. He gets hit. But I thought he did a good job of catching shots. When you open up offensively like Harrison and Charlo were you’re going to get hit. Both guys brought their guns to the shootout.
I don’t know if Joshua is finished but I think he loses to Wilder. I am also leaning that Wilder beats Fury although I am not as sure as you are.
Tank does sell a boat load of tickets. They are doing a helluva job promoting him. I thought he did ok with Gamboa but he wasn’t lights out. I don’t know if Tank can beat everyone at 130-35. I would favor Loma and Haney to beat him. I think he’s even money with Lopez and Garcia. I favor him over most of the 130s. But I’m not 100% convinced he beats Farmer or Berchelt. These fights need to happen in the ring. In this era we have to stop giving fighters credit for winning fights just because they would be the favorite in those fights.
Tank may be the next big star. But he still needs some progressive match making in my opinion. He was explosive but he lacked conditioning. I also don’t like that he missed weight after moving up 5lbs. He’s only 25 and he’s not very tall. That’s not a good sign moving forward. If he has to move to 140 soon he’s going to have huge trouble. I’m also not going to be overly critical. He won 10 out of 11 rounds and got the stoppage in the 12th. Even super talents have off nights. Let’s see how things go moving forward. He may learn from this and turn into a P4P guy.
Can you tell me your fighter, fight, ko and trainer of the year? Also, who’s your fighter of the decade?
All the best to you and Jrock in 2020. I hope your guy makes it past Rosario and you land that Charlo fight.
Bread’s Response: Fighter of the Year: Canelo Alvarez/Monster Inoue
Fight of the Year: Inoue vs Donaire
Trainer of the Year: Eddy Reynoso
Fighter of the Decade: Floyd Mayweather
Hope you’ve had a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays. In several past mailbags, you have disproved several myths in boxing, such as the myth that SRL ducked Pryor or that Mike McCallum was ducked by the Four Kings. What do you think are some other big boxing myths that are overstated or just complete nonsense?
Bread’s Response: MYTH:Ray Robinson ducked Charley Burley. No one can expect a fighter to fight a non title catchweight fight vs a fighter as dangerous as Burley. Burley is 4 years older than Robinson. When Robinson turned pro at lightweight for his first 20 fights and was fighting killers like Sammy Angott, Burley was a welterweight moving towards middleweight. Once Robinson became a welterweight Burley was basically a middleweight fighting Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore. WWII kept plenty of great fighters from getting title shots. Including Ray Robinson who didn’t get a title shot until 1946 when he was 73-1. Once Robinson became welterweight champion he dabbled in non title fights in the low 150s also defending his title at the welterweight limit of 147. Burley was toiling for a title shot at 160 and was a full time middleweight. Burley retired in 1950 and Robinson finally got a middleweight shot vs Jake Lamotta in 1951.
It’s literally absurd that people repeat that Robinson ducked Burley. All you have to do is research. Sure he could have fought him. Technically he could’ve fought Rocky Marciano also. But that’s not the same as a duck. The middleweight champions of the mid to late 40’s Graziano, Zale, Cerdan and Lamotta are not blamed for ducking Burley. But Robinson is who didn’t become champion until after Burley retired. The welterweight champions of the late 1930s and early 40s Henry Armstrong and Fritzie Zivic are not blamed for ducking Burley. But since Ray Robinson is universally recognized as the best fighter ever and he fought in the same era as Burley he gets the blame.
MYTH:You have to take the title away from the champion. It’s ridiculous that fighters and trainers repeat this. All you have to do is win more rounds. All you have to do is be more effective. It doesn’t matter if you’re boxing or pressing. It’s the most ridiculous myth in boxing history. And it literally does not exist.
Hey Mr Edwards
Thoroughly enjoyed reading your last mailbag but I guess I could say the same for the one before.. and the one before ad nauseum. A boxing brain like yours is a rarity.
An unidentified fellow/ lady (there are some boxing savvy ones, you know) posed a question about when a boxer attains ATG status and I thought your answer was brilliant as always. However, what caught my attention was the fact that you overlooked his view that Jack Dempsey was an ATG.
Now, the stories around Dempsey are legendary and his nickname added some lustre to them. However, one story in particular, if true, has left me ambivalent regarding Dempsey's generally accepted ATG status. I read somewhere once that he flatly refused to fight black fighters of his Era.
As I say, if that story is true, how the hell does Dempsey even make it into the HOF, let alone ATG? I can accept Rocky Marciano being an ATG despite the fact that his greatest victories were against octagenarians because that was the best available opposition at the time and he did to them what he was expected to do. And Louis, Walcott, Charles and Moore were legendary BLACK fighters. Can you think of one great or past great black fighter Dempsey fought and beat, in case I am horribly mistaken? Even a balding and grizzled Jeffries was at least bold enough to face a vastly superior Johnson in that race-inspired massacre. Dem
Lastly, I read recently that Larry Holmes feels that to this day he still has not received the respect he deserves and he mentioned the fact that his name is never called out at the big fights as an example. Come to think of it, I haven't even seen Holmes at ringside at any of the big fights. Is he being sidelined or is it his decision not to attend the events? Is the late Ali's shadow, the original reason for Holmes toiling in obscurity, eternal? I find this so strange because, in my view, Holmes is the last ATG Heavyweight. The Klitchcko reigns were, in my view, too sterile, Lewis was too vulnerable at key moments, Tyson's stay at the top too brief, Holyfield was really a Heavyweight and Bowe, the late Page, Witherspoon and others were outright flops.
Keep sharing your mountain of knowledge, Mr Edwards.
Bread’s Response: Good pick up on your part. I don’t argue against Jack Dempsey being an all time great because in the 1920s we didn’t have the body of results and eye ball test to compare him against. So you have to realize what the phrase All Time Great is. In the 1920s the only heavyweight champion that would be considered better than Dempsey would have been Jack Johnson.
I know his record and refusal to fight blacks pokes holes in his resume. But I don’t fight against his status and I don’t fight for it. It’s just one of those things. Giving him the Eye ball test he’s a hand full and a brutal puncher. Some things just need to be left alone.
I think Larry Holmes is a top 5 heavyweight ever. He’s made great money and he turned out to be a great story on how to invest after boxing. But he seems bitter because he was not beloved like Ali, Foreman and Tyson. He never reached their superstar status. Ali came before him. Foreman is his age and actually came back at the same time Holmes did but was more beloved and bigger opportunities. Tyson came after Holmes and stopped him. Some times a fighter has IT. Holmes was a great fighter but he wasn’t an ICON. It’s no one’s fault.
I think Holmes comes off as envious. He always finds a way to criticize Ali in a discreet way. He acts like he took it easy on Ali during their fight in 1980. But all you have to do is look at the fight. He was trying knock Ali’s head off. Waving the ref in was for show. Just look at the fight. In all of the interviews he did on Ali he takes shots at him. He even called him overrated. Ali knew how Holmes felt about him and I believe it’s the reason why he told Tyson to get him back for him.
Holmes complains about the Spinks decision in their first fight. And he didn’t handle that loss with class. He started insulting a dead man in Rocky Marciano. I think that also has hurt his status. But I think Spinks won the 1st fight. And Holmes also got some dubious close decisions that went his way that people forget. His title wining fight vs Ken Norton was razor close. He got the nod. His title defense vs Tim Witherspoon was razor close and he got the nod. His title defense vs Carl Williams was razor close and he got the nod. So when he acted the way he did when he finally came up short vs Michael Spinks I think it turned some people off.
I’ve been to fights in the PA area where Larry Holmes was announced. I don’t know if he means big championship fights or big arenas. But I have seen him acknowledged and announced. It’s tough to follow Ali and precede Tyson. But no one can help their birthday. Hopefully he finds peace because he was a great fighter.
Hey Breadman - do you think the stock of guys like Kovalev, Bud Crawford and even Roy Jones goes up when opponents they’ve defeated go on to have strong careers? In other words , can their all time it divisional rankings go up after their decline based on what opponents have achieved ?
Bread’s Response: Yes it happens all the time in boxing.
What were your thoughts about Davis’s performance against Gamboa? He seemed to have problems with stamina and discipline. A lot of people are saying that, based off that performance, Loma and Haney would take Davis apart at this particular moment. Overcritical or are they on to something?
But I digress.
What really brings me here is that, a few days ago, YahooSports released a list of the top 10 pound for pound boxers of the past decade. It’s as follows:
1. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
2. Andre Ward
3. Vasyl Lomachenko
4. Canelo Alvarez
5. Terence Crawford
6. Chocolatito Gonzalez
8. Manny Pacquiao
9. Naoya Inoue
10. Oleksadr Usyk
What do you think of this list? Which ones, if any, would you rearrange or swap out?
Also, what are the five fights you want to see in 2020 (even if they probably won’t happen)?
Bread’s Response: 5 Fights in 2020.
1. Wilder vs Fury II is happening.
2. Loma vs Lopez is happening.
3. Jrock vs Charlo
4. Charlo vs Andrade
5. Josh Taylor vs Jose Ramirez
All makeable fights. I get tired of talking about fights that we know won’t happen.
That’s a good P4P list of the decade by Yahoo sports. I don’t know who made that list but it’s solid. All P4P list are subjective so here goes.
1. Floyd Mayweather
2. Andre Ward.
3. Manny Pacquiao has to be #3. #8 is way too low. He only lost to 2 ATG in the decade and he did better vs Floyd than Canelo did.
4. Canelo Alvarez
5. Vasyl Lomachenko
6. Chocolatito Gonzalez
8. Terence Crawford
9. Monster Inoue
10. Sergey Kovalev. I know everyone craps on Kovalev right now. But he was one of the best fighters of the decade for longer and higher profile fights than Usyk. He also held Ward almost even for 24 scored rounds. I love Usyk and it’s close but Kovalev had bigger wins and more of them.
Happy New Year Bread, hope all is good with you
How often do you see a guy dominate another but be unable to finish it off? They turn into Kitty with his paw on a mouse, like, 'I got him down, got him hurt, what do I do now?'.
In the early 80s Jim Watt was world Lightweight champion. He was only adequate in most areas, & was lucky that he arrived just as Duran vacated & before Arguello (who took his title) & Rosario arrived. He was, however, the best finisher I've ever seen in my life. I swear, if Watt hurt you, it was shark, blood, end of my man! I don't want to make a great play of a despicable cheat, but another great finisher was Tony Margarito. He had slow hands but he always seemed to know the right shots to throw. SRL was, of course, an amazing finisher, but SRL was an unreal talent in every area. Watt & Margarito were nondescript in everything but finishing (& Margarito's chin). Mike McCallum was an amazing finisher.
I guess that punch variety helps a fighter be a good finisher; it obviously won't help if you're one of those guys that just rely on a jab & overhand right/left. However, lots of fighters with all the punches in the book are still bad finishers. Does it help to have a naturally cool temperament, like stepping up to take penalties?
Can finishing be taught, & who were the best finishers you've seen?
As always, look forward to your thoughts, Bread.
Bread’s Response: You really know what you’re talking about.
Best finishers I’ve seen: Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Alexis Arguello, Aaron Pryor, Ike Williams, Terence Crawford, Michael Spinks, Rocky Marciano and Archie Moore.
I believe finishing can be taught but just like everything else you have to have instincts for it. There are some COOL COLD finishers like Louis, Moore and Arguello. Then there are FIRE finishers like Leonard, Robinson, Pryor and Williams.
They all have one thing in common though, they can land the shot they need to land in the chaos. They can always get the money shot through. I doesn’t just come down to one thing but here some factors.
Trust in your conditioning. Most good finishers have good stamina. They aren’t afraid to get tired. To finish a fighter you have to step on it a little bit and if you’re concerned of getting tired you won’t put it out.
Punch Selection is self explanatory.
Calmness under chaos.
Voluntary viciousness. You have to be mean. You can’t be fake mean.
All of the great finishers have these common traits.
Recently we are not in a great era of finishers. Terence Crawford stands out as a great finisher in this era ad the preceding one. But in the last say 20 years, Juan Manuel Marquez, Felix Trinidad, James Toney, Antonio Margarito and Kelly Pavlik have stood out to me. Also believe it or not Adrien Broner at 130 and 135 was a lights out finisher. He didn’t turn out to be a great fighter but every fighter I saw him hurt before he moved up he stopped.
Happy new year. Best wishes.
Thanks for your great knowledge. You truly make us better.
Now, I know you hate him, but a quick note about Chavez Jr (I used to be a fan).
I agree with 100% of what you said. He's spoiled, undeserving, and nobody has benefited as much as he had of a name and privileged. He's weird and sketchy.
He's overpaid and protected and he even missed weight two weeks ago.
BUT, and I just wanted your opinion because you are always fair:
Weren't you surprised by his performance?
All bias and hatred/anger aside, those 5 rounds looked so so so much better than anybody had expected.
Sure, he gave up, again weirdly, and ultimately lost and gave his detractors another reason to hate him.
But honestly, I was surprised and saw shadows of his 2012/Andy Lee version.
He gave Jacobs fits, connected and landed a lot and was effective with parrying and even head movements, avoiding lots of punches at times.
What a weird dude.
Just wanted to see what you thought of it. You might not even have watched it, but at least as a scientific curiosity, I encourage you to watch the 5 minutes highlights.
Those 5 rounds had at least more action than Canelo JCCjr and Canelo Jacobs.
Ps: Best Pressure Fighter of the Decade?
I hear Margarito or Salido, but 1 and 2 should be Chocolatito and GGG.
Bread’s Response: I don’t hate Chavez Jr. I don’t have a reason to hate him. I just spoke on his enabled and privileged behavior. It’s only the TRUTH.
He did do well vs Jacobs. I’m objective. I saw him getting some good work in. But that’s even more of the reason he shouldn’t have QUIT. One thing you have to remember there were some PED issues in this fight. I don’t know the exact details so I won’t accuse him of anything. But there was talk of moving the location of the fight because of testing. So when I see a fighter turn in an unsuspected performance past his expiration date, and there is no testing or controversy behind the testing, the performance becomes suspect. Let’s leave it at that.
The best pressure fighter of the 2010’s was Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Period. And believe it or not Loma and GGG are fighting for the 2nd spot. Loma is a pressure fighter also he just does it in a unique way. He comes forward in a scientific, flashier way. But he’s pressuring the hell out of his opponents.
Margarito was from a different decade. His prime run was in the 2000s not the 2010s. Manny ruined him 2010. Salido is up there but not better than Choc, GGG or Loma.
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