The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the standing of WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, various questions about his future, the current feud with Bob Arum of Top Rank, and more.
Who, in your opinion, are some of the better or best fighters who ended their careers as... what they call... borderline Hall of Famers? Like maybe they were one or two big wins short of getting into the HOF?
I’m sure it can’t be a short list so I will narrow it down to... top 15 (everyone does 10)? Top 15 Borderline HOFs?
Bread’s Response: Fans seem to love list. They love to debate them. I don’t have an exact order but I do have 15 names that I can come up with.
Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Marlon Starling, Meldrick Taylor, Michael Nunn, Ernesto Marcel, Steve Collins, Sambu Kalambay, Michael Moorer, Chris Byrd, Vernon Forrest, Diego Corrales, Joel Casamayor, Fernando Vargas and Chad Dawson.
How do you like that list? All relatively recent fighters. Fighters who have cases for the HOF and greatness but no one is a sure lock.
Salaam Alaykum Mr. Edwards,
I wanted to write in with some updated thoughts on Bud Crawford after his dominating win over a (albeit somewhat faded) Kell Brook. I wrote in to the Daily Bread a while ago about boxing IQ and noted that Bud was, to my eyes, one of the smartest fighters in the sport.
I still think Bud has fighting in his blood and bones. I don't want to discredit any of the phenomenal work that Bomac has done, but Crawford is one of the few fighters in the sport today who could still fight blindfolded or with an arm tied behind his back.
It reminds me of a prime Roy Jones Jr. Whatever circumstances arise between the ropes, Crawford and Roy seem to be able to adjust to it without thinking about it or processing it on a conscious level. As you noted, Bud would be able to tell you about it after he did it, but in the ring he'd just DO IT.
You previously said that this type of boxing IQ was present in Ray Leonard (with which I completely agree) and agreed that it was something that Roberto Duran and Manny Pacquiao had/have. Can you think of any other active boxers who possess this type of intelligence? Boots Ennis and Vergil Ortiz come to mind on the young end. . .
Also, my main question: How does this type of intelligence correlate to Bud's meanness? I think there's definitely a connection, but it's hard for me to put it to words. Any ideas?
Bread’s Response: How are you John? Thanks for the write in.
Bomac and Red are excellent trainers. We can’t ever discredit their work. Bud is talented for sure. Some of his gifts he was born with. But that doesn’t mean they have not done an excellent job at honing those gifts. Enhancing those gifts. Cultivating them. We have to remember that Crawford didn’t sign with Top Rank at the beginning of his career. He signed with them after he had double digit fights and he did well in training camp with Tim Bradley. He was an excellent amateur but he wasn’t considered a GREAT one. So Bomac and Red had to do something right to get him to the point where he is now. They also have Jamel Herring who is a world champion. They got Herring when he had 2 losses already. And they have Steve Nelson who is sneaky good and undefeated.
Bud reminds me of 3 fighters. Floyd Mayweather with his build and neat boxing ability. Bud is only 5’8 but his arms are very long. He has a 74 inch reach. Pernell Whitaker with his boxing ability and inside roughness. Whitaker is a little more defensively gifted but they both compute a few early rounds then go on a tear and pull off 6 rounds in a row to a route. And Ray Leonard with his savage finishing. Again I think Leonard is faster and more explosive. But Crawford is there with him as far as his ability to finish. Crawford really needs a great opponent and he needs him now. He can go from a HOF to an ATG in one performance.
Boots Ennis and Vergil Ortiz are a little too young for me to put them there. I love them both and I actually believe Ennis is as good as any welterweight in the world currently as he stands. But that’s projection that’s not because of what he’s done. He still has to do it. This is boxing.
The fighters I see with the highest IQs at this current moment are Crawford, Fury, Loma, Canelo, Charlo Bros, Spence, Chocolatito and Josh Taylor.
I don’t know how his IQ translates to his meanness. Because not every fighter who has high IQ is MEAN. Here is my take on MEANNESS. Some people are just born mean and ornery. They don’t have to brag about it or wear it in a way to intimidate people. But it’s in them. And some people have life circumstances that have brought it about. I suspect Crawford is BOTH.
I also believe that everything he is and does is interconnected. The reason he’s such a good finisher is not just because he’s mean. Not just because he’s ornery. But he also has IQ. He knows when and how to go for the finish. He doesn’t panic. He doesn’t over punch. He puts the right punches together. He also is not afraid to get hit. He’s willing to step into the danger zone. Last but not least, he has trust in his stamina. I have seen fighters who shoot their load trying to finish fighters. Crawford never does because he’s so well conditioned he knows how to go for the stoppage. He knows he will get his 2nd wind.
All finishers are not the same. I know cold calculated finishers like Alexis Arguello and Joe Louis. Then there are fire finishers like Terence Crawford, Ray Leonard and Aaron Pryor. Where they attack you in a hybrid boxing and street fighting type violent outburst. One is not better than the other. It just depends on the fighter.
Hi Breadman, as usual thanks for your time and insight it's always appreciated.
I had a couple points I wanted to discuss and the first was in relation to the Fury Wilder controversy. I respect a man that is rational and not taking sides without all of the information is definetly the common sense approach. I try my best to do the same in these cases but I do find this one a little different. I have looked at it as objectively as possible and I can't help but feel that anyone pro Wilder in this debate is way off the mark.
The first reason for this is the sheer quantity of excuses. It is not rational to throw in 6 or 7 completely different excuses and retain your credibility when it is clear you are not making reasonable sense. First the fact he stated that he wears weight in his vest in training trumped his first excuse. To accuse a trainer that has been by his side the whole time of spiking his drink seems erratic and incredibly disrespectful. I feel he is fortunate that Mark Brieland is not the type of character to make a big deal of this when he really should. Why would he wait until this fight to spike his water when he could have done it in every other fight? Its stink of desperation and this may have a long term effect on Wilders legacy.
The gloves saga- This one frustrates me the most. Anything in slow motion can be manipulated to benefit whatever narrative you wish it to serve. It has been shown that a number of other fighters have had the exact same reaction with their gloves and you can view this with a simple online search. This includes fighters like Canelo. This is not difficult to find for anyone that wants to and you can could even research this yourself rather than use anyone else's to avoid being contradictory.
I would also advise anyone to watch the Ricky Hatton interview when he provides a really good honest explanation to why this happens and Furys tactics with his flicking jabs. Also, why is it such a big deal now when it happens in almost all Fury fights and I'm not sure it would really benefit Fury to punch this way. The addition of the egg shaped weight was another interesting additional to the list of excuses but with the way video technology is now this would be very difficult to mask surely?
I have also heard that the Nevada board are one of the best and strictest in all of boxing and this should always be considered when looking at such outcomes.
I would say that the past issues Fury has had with drugs is definitely something that will hang over his character and should be considered when making your opinions knows.
There is also a video pre fight that looks to show Wilder already having a fairly prominent looking gash on his head that has perhaps been expanded upon rather than caused.
I like both fighters and irrespective of race, nationality I always consider myself reasonable and fair. I also conclude that by accepting evidence from online sources while debunking others can look contradictory but for me here I am a little surprised you have not taken the side that to me seems to clearly hold more weight (pardon the pun.
I did want to say you were absolutely spot on about bud's finishing skills, he is an absolute killer. It was difficult for me to watch Brook get taken out like that but I couldn't help but admire the way bud created the opening and made the necessary adjustments. Spence vs Crawford is a hugely intriguing fight and I hope for both fighters legacy that it does get made.
As a huge Josh Taylor fan this is the one fighter than really worries me. The only hope for me is that there is a bit of slippage because Taylor with so little fights would not have the experience needed. I do feel however, that Josh Taylor has massive balls and heart so he will always be in with a shout. That is of course if he beats Ramirez.
How do you see that fight going? I genuinely feel Taylor wins it fairly handily but my view could be clouded.
Random one, as a trainer, how often do real fight break out in gyms and has any fighter ever shown violence towards you? How would you deal with this and discipline as a whole?
Thanks for your insight.
Bread’s Response: I’ve only seen two fights break out in the gym. One was between two trainers. The other was between two fighters. I’ve never had anyone show violence towards me in a boxing gym while being a trainer. Boxing is animalistic sport. Obviously no one should be showing violence to anyone unless they are sparring. But if someone did I would defend myself in an absolute manner. I’m not going to allow myself to be a victim. At the same time, “One is who is easily provoked, is easily controlled.” You don’t want to carry yourself in way where that’s even an issue. So you have to be mindful of engaging in certain conversations or things that lead to that of foolishness. I don’t indulge in that type of prideful banter, so unless someone literally attacked me there is little chance I would get into that type of stuff.
I’m don’t know what else to say on the Wilder/Fury Glove Gate. Unless something new comes out I don’t have anything else to say about it. They need to go to court and divulge evidence for discovery at this point.
The Nevada commission is the most experienced in this country. But they just made a controversial call in the Franco vs Maloney fight. Be careful putting anyone or anything on a pedestal in boxing. Nothing is bulletproof.
Crawford was his usual excellent self. That punch he hit Brook with was sensational. Most fighters turn a jab into a hook. This was a shot that started out as a jab and arced into a hook. Brook never saw it! And he was stepping in which made it a head on collision. That punch snapped 12 inches past Brook’s face. Crawford gets tremendous leverage on his whipping, loose shots.
I think Josh Taylor is a top 10 P4P fighter. I think he will be the favorite vs Jose Ramirez but Ramirez is live. I slightly favor Taylor in the FOY type of scrap. Let’s see him get past Ramirez before we mention Crawford.
How does a short guy fight a tall guy? What advantages does he have?--
Bread’s Response: There is a myth you have to be tall in order to have a great jab. Emille Griffith, Miguel Cotto, Pernell Whitaker, Marvin Hagler, Ike Quartey and Dwight Qawi have some of the best jabs in history and they were the shorter fighter on more occasions than they were the taller fighter. Obviously we will say timing but I will talk about physical advantages.
A shorter fighter who comes in at the correct angle can let their taller opponent’s jab go over their lead shoulder and simply step in with their jab as the taller fighter’s jab goes over their shoulder. Qawi was a master jabber. And he was a 5’7 light heavyweight who was always the shorter man.
Another advantage the shorter fighter has is the range. If his arms are shorter it can be a good thing and here is why. Sometimes a taller fighter is too gangly and tall. It’s harder for him to bring his hands back in place after exchanges. When the shorter fighter has faster feet and he can get in the mid range. The lack of length he has becomes and advantage because he’s beating the taller man to the punch because he’s following the taller man’s punches back after he extended himself. Andre Ward was excellent at this. Ward had a great jab despite not having long arms. He was able to outjab fighters like Edwin Rodriguez and Carl Froch who had really long arms compared to his.
Evander Holyfield fought taller fighters best when he waited for them to jab and right after they jabbed he doubled jabbed back at them stepping in quickly. Watch the Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe rematches. He had this move down to a science and it gave both Bowe and Lewis fits.
Ray Leonard had trouble dealing with Hearn’s jab. But when Hearn’s was forced into exchanges of more than 2 punches, Leonard always got the better of it. Every time they traded hooks, Leonard’s was shorter and more compact. Hearn’s hook was nasty but it was loopy. Mid range.
Another way to attack a taller man is how Mike Tyson does. He just swarms them and gets underneath them. Once he’s there they are forced to hold him because if they try to open up, his punches are shorter and faster and he’s going to clip them. When the opened up Tyson usually looped shots from over the top or shot shots from underneath. Tyson was brutal on tall fighters.
Hope I was able to help.
I read your tweet about Brook being just about equal to Crawford in talent. You were spot on. Brook was actually outboxing Crawford. He lumped his eye and Crawford couldn’t handle his jab until he turned southpaw. But here is my question. They seem equal in talent but why does Crawford seems to get better results. Why is there separation between them?
Bread’s Response: Good pick up but I didn’t say they were equal in TALENT. I said they were close to being equal in SKILL. Often times in boxing and sports in general we conflate talent, skills and athleticism. Let me explain.
Obviously all world class athletes and boxers have all 3 but some check the boxes higher in certain places.
Skill is something you practice over and over then apply it. It can be a punch or a move defensive move.
Talent is something you are born with. It can be enhanced through practice but you are born with it.
Athleticism are your measurables. How fast you can run. How high you can jump. How much you can bench press. Your ability to move , push and pull. It’s also your ability to do things. Most boxers believe it or not can’t play other sports at a respectable level.
Ok now that we got that out of the way let me give examples. Fighters like Ray Leonard, Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather check the boxes in all 3. They’re talented, skilled and athletic. They are about even in all 3.
Then you have fighters like say James Toney. Toney is talented. He’s born with slippery head movement and reflexes. He’s extremely skilled. That shoulder roll and defensive prowess took years to practice. But Toney does not seem like a super athlete to me. He’s more of a fighter than an athlete in my opinion.
Alexis Arguello. Arguello is a guy who is not a super athlete. He’s not born super talented besides his ability to hit hard. But he checks really high in the skill box. He throws perfect punches. He throws them with both hands. His balance is perfect. This is something he has practiced over and over.
Onto Kell Brook. Brook is very skilled. He throws perfect punches. His feet are under him. He delivers his blows nice and neat. His jab is excellent. His right hand his straight. His uppercut and hook are nasty. Kell Brook is very skilled.
But he doesn’t improvise well. His mind doesn’t adapt fast. That’s talent. It can be taught but if you know what you’re looking at you can see that Brook needs help in that area. He’s athletic but he’s not a super athlete. He’s not crazy fast or super imposing. I think Crawford is more talented and a better athlete than Brook.
Crawford checks all 3 boxes also. Crawford is athletic. He may not have Roy Jones’s athleticism but he’s athletic. He’s talented. Crawford has a natural fighter’s instinct. He was born with lots of the things he applies in fighting. And he’s skilled. You can tell he applies his skills. You can tell he’s practices certain things. His step back right hook from the southpaw stance is a dandy for example.
Crawford was getting outboxed. But as soon as he made Brook adjust quickly, he was able to ko him. Literally that’s how fast Crawford was able to separate himself from a very skilled fighter. Fighters like Brook often look good for a few rounds because of their skill. But there is a reason why he’s not the best. And it’s because his talent and IQ are not as high as his skill. High IQ and special talents don’t keep getting hit with punches they don’t see. Jorge Linares is a fighter who is similar to Brook. They have elite level skills. But something happens to them when they are forced to improvise in tight spots. Crawford and Loma separated themselves with their talent and IQ. Their mind’s process a little bit faster. They were born slightly more gifted and it showed once the intensity heated up.
I’m very careful at the words I use to describe a fighter. For example in the match up of Crawford vs Spence. The Super Fight that everyone is talking about. I feel like Crawford is born with more God Given talent. But Spence is equally as skilled. He’s bigger. And he’s equal as an athlete. So the fight is just about even if both are 100%.
What’s good Bro Bread. Just watched the weigh in and the special one Kell Brooks looks good. If I’m being honest Bud is in a no-win situation outside of going in there and washing Kell inside of 5. If he struggles, if it’s close and he stops him late, or if goes to the scorecard the naysayers will come running. Now, in saying that, I always disagree with something I’ve heard you say several times. I may be getting it wrong, so please correct me, but you typically say the eyeball test tells you that Bud is special so you have him at the top or near the top of your pound for pound list. I definitely have him on my list and in the top 5 but in order to be at or near the top the eyeball test is not enough. I’m from the “Show Me State”. I have yet to see him in a 50-50 situation. I’ve also seen him get hurt a couple of times by naturally smaller guys which makes me a little skeptical of his chin. I’m not trying to take away from his greatness because I think he is definitely talented but I’m not so sure if he was with PBC he would get through Thurman, Spence, Porter, Ugas, and Garcia without getting a L or two. They are more athletic than anyone on his resume and most can pop. I said all that but I am definitely a fan, just being real. I think Bud will get dropped clean but come back to beat Kell up and possible stop him late maybe 10th. What you think?
I’m going to get a little off for a second but I hate how our special black fighters a treated. Yes, I’m going to make this a race thing but what’s crazy is that black people sh-- on black fighters as bad as other races. I think sometimes we have been taught self-hatred so much that most can’t help it. When Floyd was on top people sh--ted on him saying he was boring…..When Wilder had one of the best KO records in history they sh--ed on him saying he can’t box…. Two athletes from two totally different ends of the spectrum but the media and people of the US sh--ed on them. I wonder why? People where so excited to see Wilder lose. What would the media have said about Wilder had won and had a rematch clause with Fury and decided to just move on?? Its life Fury is getting a pass. I can acknowledge that Wilder has said some pretty outrages stuff lately but a contract is a contract for a reason. He didn’t bring Covid.
I’ll wrap up with this since I’m on Wilder. He has to many yes men in his corner. I have no doubt that Deas cares for Wilder but I just pick up a guy who is willing to say any and everything to keep riding the gravy train. Then Wilder brought in his friends to get him fit. I couldn’t help but think during the last fight that Wilder looked like he had over trained. I remember thinking this by the second round. He just seemed lazy in there. Someone not knowledgeable in boxing wouldn’t know to say let’s pull back today or let’s take a couple of days off. If he just has yes men around him, they are pretty much just marching to the beat of Wilder’s drum. It probably hasn’t even crossed his mind that the reason he didn’t feel right was because he over trained. That’s why he is coming with so many conspiracy theories.
Bread’s Response: I decided to post your question even though it was intended for last week.
I do think Terence Crawford is the #1 P4P currently. Here is why. He delivers literally every time out. He has never had one controversial outcome. In fact I can’t even think of a fight where he looked “off”. Now look at the Brook fight. You said Crawford needed to end things before the 5th round. And that’s exactly what he did. Another conclusive ko victory.
I know people attack his resume but here is the thing. His resume is NOT special. But it’s solid. He’s beating world class opponents in decisive fashion. Gamboa was smaller but he was undefeated and close to his prime. Crawford kod him. 6 years later Haney is taken the distance by Gamboa. Tank Davis who is a lights out puncher goes 12 rounds with him. That performance shows the separation that Crawford creates vs the field.
Victor Postol was also undefeated. He kod Matthysse. Postol just gave Jose Ramirez hell. Crawford outclassed him.
Felix Diaz was a Gold Medalist and begging for a fight. He was 19-1 but I feel he was undefeated. I feel he won the decision over Lamont Peterson. Crawford dominated Diaz and basically ruined his career.
Jeff Horne was undefeated.
Jose Benavidez was undefeated.
Mean Machine was undefeated.
Julius Indongo was undefeated and a unified champion.
Ricky Burns is solid. So was Thomas Dolurme who is considered a step up fight for Jaron Ennis.
Crawford is not fighting bums. He’s just not fighting the elite guys on the PBC roster. But let me tell you something. Victor Postol and Jose Benavidez are better than some of the guys on the PBC roster. They just aren’t as popular.
Yes man unfortunately you are speaking the truth. Black people are very hard on each other. I’m from Philadelphia and it’s a vicious place. They nitpick and have something to say about every little thing. Everyone is a super critic until it’s time for them to do what they are criticizing you for. Then they make excuses for themselves. Floyd and Wilder both took lots of criticism. It’s part of the game. Some was valid but most of it was envy. It’s just how it is. I don’t know why. I can’t answer it and I don’t care to figure out why.
What I try to do is self maintenance myself. It’s easy for me. I don’t have a jealous bone in my body. I don’t micro manage another man’s success or failures. I have had trainers talk crap about me, undermine me, and be disingenuous and I stand tall and wait on them to get their turn under the bright lights. They usually fail!
Your comment is why I don’t watch youtube interviews or read the comments sections of articles. I used to be cool with a trainer that used to always come back and tell me what someone was saying on youtube. Each time I would tell him, I don’t want to know. I don’t watch it. I really meant it. It’s bad for the self esteem to listen to negativity. I didn’t care if it was about me or someone else. The one thing I will add is ENVY, has no color. And it has no loyalty. If you assume that because Wilder and Floyd are black that it means that black people won’t be critical of them then that’s not how it is. ENVY surpasses racial allegiance in ALL races. Once you carry that gene, then nothing will stop you accept an act of GOD. Trust me I know. I’ve blessed people who were stabbing me in the back.
So you think Wilder overtrained. I know he put on weight but I couldn’t tell if he overtrained. Because he didn’t cut weight it’s harder to tell. He did look drained but I didn’t know why. One of the things that I have noticed is that Deontay does is expend lots of energy before fights. He’s walking around. Dancing. Screaming. Lot’s of folks in his locker room. That can drain a fighter emotionally in my opinion. I like quiet locker rooms. I like calm demeanors before a fight.
I also think Jay Deas cares about Wilder. I don’t know him to know how their interaction is. So I can’t say.
But I do know something about a trainer/fighter relationship. Some trainers are slick. They BS fighters. They listen to a fighter complain about their other trainer. The fighter may say my trainer is too hard on me. I can’t do anything right. Well an assistant trainer or a trainer that wants the job will then become whatever the trainer that is being complained about is not. He won’t criticize the fighter. He will patronize the fighter. Get where I’m going….
It’s the same thing with dating a woman. If a woman complains about her old or current boyfriend. She becomes easy to impress. All you have to do is become whatever he WAS NOT.
This game of training is so treacherous. There a very few trainers who won’t kiss a fighter’s BUTT to keep a job. Very few who won’t tell a fighter the truth in order to keep a job. And what’s worse is fighter’s want BUTT kissers and fake people. Anything to feed their egos. Again I am NOT suggesting Jay Deas did this because I don’t know. I actually think he did well in bringing Wilder along. I’m talking about the dynamic of training in general and from my own personal experiences.
Greetings and blessings as always sir.
There are some sharks in this mailbag so I’ll try to keep this brief. I know you are an educated man so I am sure you have heard of the book called “Blink” by Malcom Gladwell. Long end shortened it theorizes that people who make quick decisions are operating on an adaptive consciousness i.e able to quickly process information and make an informed decision almost to the point of precognition. At the top levels of boxing the best fighters are able to process and adjust on the fly. Three guys that come to mind in this modern era are Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and Bud Crawford but I think they go about processing differently. With Floyd I feel he adjusted to keep opponents neutralized, Andre Ward adjusted to make the opponent uncomfortable and Crawford makes his adjustment to inflict damage which may account for being hit a little bit more. Am I reaching? What are you thoughts on this concept? Thank you for your time
Jack from Detroit.
Bread’s Response: This may be the MOST ON POINT comment I have ever received.
85% of the time the fighter who processes faster wins the fight. There are times when a tangible quality like a strong chin or simple will power will win a fight. But for the most part the fighter who solves the problem the quickest and applies his response the quickest will win. It’s why fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez, Alexis Arguello and Marvin Hagler are ATG fighters but they aren’t speed demons. Timing has a lot to do with mind quickness and processing.
You’re exactly correct. Mayweather, Ward and Crawford are all great processers. All have elite level IQ and ability to adapt. But there temperaments are different. Floyd evolved to a point where he if you stayed in your place he wouldn’t destroy you too often. After leaving 130, I can honestly say I only saw Floyd try to hurt 4 fighters. Phillp Ndou, Emanuel Augustus, Arturo Gatti and Victor Ortiz. Everyone else he just neutralized them and most couldn’t take him beyond his threshold. It’s why since he moved up from 130lbs in 2002 he only scored 7 kos. He didn’t need a ko. As long as you didn’t get too “fresh” with him he was ok. Erislandy Lara is also like this but he doesn’t have the layers that Floyd has in a P4P sense.
If you listen to Ward talk he tells you his mindset. He definitely likes to make you feel uncomfortable. Not so much to ko you, but to take you out of your depth. To drive you crazy almost. He’s always feinting you, twisting you, turning you, sneaking shots on the break, jabbing your gut. It’s a consistent drubbing. I think Ward’s lack of a use of a right hand also evolved him into this. Now Crawford is different. He wants a ko and to inflict damage. Crawford is very much like Ray Leonard. Both boxers. But Boxer Killers. Ray Robinson is the King of this style.
This is one of the greatest pick ups I’ve ever read. Observing the temperament is very important. And when you observe and understand the temperament you understand the results and why. Thank you.
I respect the reasoning that TCrawford is P4P # 1, in my opinion the best in the world regardless of the level of opposition faced. But I am on the side of those who have Álvarez # 1. The formula is a dilemma, it provokes heated debates. Reasoning the criteria to be taken into account to clarify who is the P4P king, I came to a conclusion, not definitive, that the level of recent opposition is the most influential, along with how I dominate them. I made an analogy with basketball. Let's suppose that Jordan (Crawford) and LJames (Canelo) coincide in their best years, MJ is signed by some team of the Chinese league (opposition of TC), LJ is still in the NBA (opposition SA); MJ continues at the same skill level, he doesn't lose a single gram of skill, so does LJ. The level of Chinese basketball is well below that of the NBA. So at the end of that season, who would be the best in the world? For me, as much as MJ shot 80 dpi in China, LJ would be number one, simply because of the opposition. What do you think of the level of opposition as the most important factor? And in what order do you have the factors that can determine P4P # 1?
fight mythical:Inoue vs Donaire(version 2011-12)
Bread’s Response: This is a brilliant analogy. If this were the case I would pick Lebron. But it’s slightly off because Canelo and Crawford are both professional boxers. They fight in different divisions but not so much different leagues.
If you look at Crawford and Canelo’s competition 3 fights separate them for me. GGG, Cotto and Lara. Canelo lost to Mayweather. But those 3 wins are better than any of Crawford’s wins. And the Mayweather loss as far as competition faced is excellent.
So competition faced and accomplishments count. I rate that very highly. But here is where it gets tricky. A fighter can be more accomplished and not be better. I felt that in the late 90s, there were publications that had Oscar De La Hoya, then Shane Mosley rated as #1 over Roy Jones. Neither was better than Jones. You could see it. But because their competition at the time some thought they should be P4P #1.
I feel as though along with Accomplishments and Competition faced, you have to factor in Eye Ball Test. You also have to simply ask yourself who would win if they were the same size naturally. I also ask who would beat more people. I feel as though Crawford has an edge in Eye Ball test, who would win if they were the same size and who would beat more people.
I hold everything in context. And the one thing about Canelo’s resume that I realize is that people don’t duck Canelo. He’s the cash cow. So credit to him for taking tough fights but he can take them whenever he wants. He can make GGG wait 2 years. He can make Kovalev take a fight on a shorter notice than usual. He can face a Rocky Fielding type for more money than Crawford has ever sniffed. He can not fight Andrade or Charlo and not get too much flack. Both of those fights were and are available. Canelo is the the MAN. He moves the needle. Crawford would most likely be the B side to Spence or Pacman. Canelo is the A side to EVERYBODY. He can make any fight he wants from any fighter from 154-175. It’s not the case for Crawford. This is CONTEXT.
Now let’s go to Kovalev. Kovalev is a huge name. He had just won a nice fight vs Yarde. But at this point in his career he’s chinny and very vulnerable. On paper that’s a great win for Canelo to beat a real champion at 175lbs. But Crawford could never get a vulnerable champion at 160lb to fight him on the notice he sets. He doesn’t have that power. Kovalev is a bigger name than anyone on Crawford’s resume but he’s operating at the same level say as some of the guys who Crawford has faced. They just don’t have the name power.
This is a very close debate in my opinion. I don’t argue with anyone who has Canelo or Monster Inoue as #1. In fact if Canelo defeats Charlo, Andrade, Plant or Benavidez I would probably agree that his resume trumps Crawford’s eye ball test if by that time Crawford has not faced Spence, Ennis, Ortiz, Thurman, Porter or Garcia. But it hasn’t happened yet.
If Monster Inoue was bigger, and his opponents were more well known. He would probably be the #1 guy, if we are being honest. But it’s sort of universally accepted that the higher weights have more sharks in the water. In terms of accomplishments I don’t think Canelo dominates Crawford the way you guys think. I think his competition has been better but Crawford has been RING Champion in two divisions. Canelo only one. Crawford also won all 4 belts. Canelo never has.
Last but not least Crawford has never failed a drug test. That’s a big deal for me. The Clenbuterol issues in Mexico, can be a plausible excuse. But it can also be a convenient one for a fighter who wanted to cheat. The one thing we can’t debate is Canelo failed two test. Crawford none. So if it’s very close as far as who’s #1, I will lean towards the guy that hasn’t failed a test.
Hey Bread, Thanks for doing this every week! The mailbag is the first thing I check when I wake up every Saturday morning. I worked out at Shuler's for a couple years & with that I had the privilege of seeing many world class fighters train up close. Having witnessed it first hand often enough, I can only echo what you've stated many times here about young amateurs/pros getting the better of seasoned/bigger professionals in sparring. With that said, & in light of Lopez besting Lomachenko, which young welterweight up & comers, if any, do you give a legitimate shot at beating Crawford right now? I was very impressed by the suddenness in which he was able to take out Brook. Crawford has that Mayweather level of ability to assess his opponent & make the necessary in-fight adjustments but he often gets hit too clean in the process which makes me think a younger fighter in their athletic prime could capitalize on that tendency in ways an older fighter cannot.
Also, what do you make of Arum's comments on Crawford's lack of self promotion? His contract with Top Rank is up soon so what angle is Arum playing here?
Bread’s Response: I wealthy wise man once told me that he had “EFF YOU” money. I think Bob Arum has been at that stage in his life. He’s old. He’s made millions on millions. He’s a LEGEND and he has no filter. So he feels like he did everything he could for Crawford. He feels like he tried to make the fights, without losing him. He feels like he paid him his worth, with a contract in which he made 3.5 million in minimums.
I don’t think Arum worded it in a way, where it would be received with warm arms. But it’s how he feels. I think PBC literally forced the break up of Crawford and Arum. PBC let Crawford fight a couple of their guys but not the elite ones. Sometimes you can say something without saying it. Basically what’s being said is if you want these fights, then leave Top Rank. Some things are just understood.
Arum did the best he could with a great fighter. When Arum had Pacquiao, Marquez, Bradley, Provodnikov, Rios and Alvarado. He made as many fights as he could. Those guys fought over 10 times at welterweight. Most times with the WBO title on the line. But through time you lose your grip on certain divisions. Now PBC has 3 out of the 4 belts at 147. And Crawford does not have the IN HOUSE fights. So now the PBC’s is using their leverage. Everybody gets their turn.
Crawford will have to make a choice at 33 years old. There is no right or wrong answer. He can show loyalty to Top Rank and stay. Or he can leave and fight for legacy. It’s really up to him.
I don’t think Arum cares if Crawford leaves or stays. If he stays he has the world’s best fighter. You can always market that. Covid won’t be around forever and you can bring Crawford back to Omaha. If Crawford leaves he’s off the hook for that 3.5 million. Arum will find a way to compartmentalize the loss. I actually view life the same way. Bosses take Losses. Keep it moving.
Arum has more fighters in his stable that don’t have Crawford’s minimums. Both Arum and Crawford will be fine.
As far as Crawford promoting himself. I think he does promote himself. He does it his way. He does it in the ring. He also sells out his hometown. That’s a big deal. He has an APPEAL. He’s just not loud about it. But Crawford’s job title is BOXER not Promoter. Crawford doesn’t ask Arum to come to the gym and hold the mitts for him. Or go for morning runs with him. Why, because that’s not Arum’s job? Arum is the Promoter. It’s his job to promote Crawford. And if he can’t then he should let him go.
Yes I think Jaron Ennis could give Crawford a run for his money right now. I’m not saying beat him because I don’t know. But I believe he would be his toughest fight to date. Ennis is the most talented kid I’ve EVER seen in the gyms in Philadelphia. I think the fight very similar but Ennis is actually bigger and he looks to be faster. People who know, KNOW.
I am a bit conflicted by Terence's performance against Brook. On one end, he once again displayed his ability to make adjustment and finishing fights but I cannot completely ignore the fact that Brook is nowhere close to the same fighter he was till he fought GGG and yet Brook was able to land multiple shots on him. He has not been hard to hit since for a while now. Somehow, I may be in the minority here, but I feel that if Errol Spence is unaffected by the accident, he will beat him clearly. I am not saying that it will be lopsided, but it will be close but clean decision like Mayweather vs Maidana 2. Of course, it all depends on whether Spence is the same after the accident or not.
Two questions for you - 1. How do you see that fight going down if they fought next year? 2. I am somehow getting the feeling that Spence is far more interested in fighting Canelo than Crawford. What do you think Crawford should do considering it is a possibility that he may not even get the Spence fight after signing with PBC?
Bread’s Response: I give Crawford plenty of credit for beating Kell Brook. Here is why. We assume that Brook is not the same after he lost back to back to Spence and GGG. But he was sharp in both of those fights. It’s not like he performed BAD. He gave Spence a serious struggle. He buzzed GGG with an uppercut and performed so well, middleweights stepped up to fight GGG only AFTER they say Brook fight him.
So he goes in against Crawford and looks sharp. He won at least 2 of the first 3 rounds. Possibly all 3. There was NO evidence by his performance of Brook not being the same in the fight. The only evidence is our assumption. But maybe Crawford made him look like that. Maybe Crawford landed a great shot, that he needed to land because Brook was really operating at a high level. We can guess all day. But from what my eyes tell me, Brook was up for the fight. He was in great shape. And he was fighting for his career, so he was extremely motivated. And Crawford landed a perfect punch. That PUNCH is being underrated. Crawford a Bruce Lee type of shot. So I’m inclined to just give the guy his due. Brook didn’t look shot to me. Although he may be now after training so hard to come up short.
I know few people who feel like Spence will beat Crawford. They believe Spence is just too strong and rugged. And for as good as Crawford is he’s not a master boxer who doesn’t get hit. They also think he’s slugging too much these days and that will be his down fall vs Spence. Spence has a physicality advantage.
I don’t know yet. Let’s see how Spence looks vs Danny Garcia. I thought Spence was just an unstoppable force when he fought Lamont Peterson and Chris Algieri. Those are still his career best performances in my opinion. If he gets back to that form, Oh my goodness. We have this era’s welterweight Super Fight.
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