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Daily Bread Mailbag: GGG-Derevyanchenko, Spence, Hopkins

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter, Gennady Golovkin vs. Sergey Derevyanchenko, the career of Bernard Hopkins, mythical matches and more.

hi breadman great insights every week much appreciated.

two great fights in last 2 weeks for fans to watch, disapointing to hear booing after golovkin v deryvchenko, even though I know they were disappointed with verdict, how did you score it. its looking near the end for ggg now  and I think there will be a que wanting to fight him .andrade and bj saunders could now outpoint him, charlo could be a war and I think canelo wins a trilogy without controversy, and I wouldn't be keen to see him step up in weight. for me hes been a great champion but id like to see him walk away. whats your thinking on this. talk of learning a new style. I just don't see how you can do it at 37 .

id love to know your opinion on kell brook v amir khan if it finally gets made in 2020, I find it hard to believe that khan will fight him as even though khans fought everyone it seems like a loss to  brook would haunt him id have to pick brook by stoppage just cant really see khan winning. (I have been wrong before)
the other potential fight that would interest me  is usyk v wilder. weight wise usyk wont be much off deontay  and he may school him if he can avoid that unreal right hand any thoughts on this

heres a few mythical match ups

jose napoles v Pernell whittaker
sonny liston v george foreman
ggg v marvin hagler
keep up the great work its my Saturday morning read
cheers Alun

Bread’s Response: I wasn’t scoring the fight but I saw this fight much like Spence vs Porter. Where the busy underdogs gave as good as they got. A knockdown seemed to be the deciding factor in both fights. The one thing that really stood out to me is how uncomfortable GGG looks when being attacked in a volley. He can handle one shot well. But a volley of shots really throws him off. He’s never really learned to counter punch and his power usually kept everyone on the defensive. But we all know as time goes by, good coaches and fighters pick up on flaws. Canelo attacked him in the rematch. I suspect every elite fighter from here on out will attack him. I don’t even know if the stuff SD was throwing was landing clean, but GGG just looked unsorted and as you know a boxing match is about presentation to the judges. Just like in a real court of law. SD may not have won mathematically and officially but he definitely won the event. More people think he won than think he lost.

Team GGG is just going to have to monitor him closely. Bring in a guru on sports science and try to get the most out of his body. He can already fight. But he’s slowing down so therefore, science will be needed to preserve him. A change of diet and conditioning can definitely help. Science and great matchmaking. The same I look I saw in Chocolatito’s eyes vs SSR, is the look I saw in GGG vs Canelo and SD.

I feel as though there are about 10 fighters from 154-168 that can beat GGG at this point. They have to be really careful with how they match him. Eventually with his style a bad stoppage will happen just like it did with Chavez vs Oscar De La Hoya and Kostya Tszyu.

Amir Khan vs Kell Brook is a waste of time to talk about. Don’t let fighters hold your HOPES hostage with long overdue fights. Amir Khan looks very vulnerable at this point and Kell Brook has seemed to have lost his desire to fight elite fighters after Errol Spence. The Brook vs Khan fight is irrelevant at this point.

Right now I like Wilder. I have to see how Usyk carries the weight.

Napoles vs Whitaker is closer than new school boxing experts realize. I say Whitaker by the skin of his teeth.

Liston vs Foreman I’m going to go with Sonny in this one. He’s one of the few guys in history who could beat George head to head. People don’t realize his prime was actually before his title reign. He was ridiculous in the late 50s.

Hagler would beat GGG by a hard fought decision. Hagler’s chin was just as good, he was just as strong, his jab was just as good and he was slightly more athletic and better defensively.

golovkin-derevyanchenko-fight (91)

Short and sweet, one of my favorite fights to go back and rewatch is bhop vs tito. Interested to know where you rank Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins time capsule performance against Tito in terms of biggest wins of the last 20 years. Thanks for your time.

Jack from Detroit.

Bread’s Response: Bernard Hopkins fought one of the best fights in the history of boxing. Period. Any weight. Any era. Perfect fight. Tito was 40-0. He was 2 wins away from Mt. Rushmore status. He was a big favorite going in. And Hopkins took him apart round after round then stopped him late, the stoppage always shows an extra level of specialness.

I can think of some performances just as good, but I can’t think of any I have ever seen that were clearly better.

As far as biggest win of last 20 years. It most likely is. Maybe Tarver over Roy Jones2 or Marquez over Pac4 can challenge it. But since 1999 I would say Hopkins over Tito has to be top 3.

Peace and Power Good Brother,

Long time reader, second time writer. As I've been taught by my Elders and OGs... I give respect where it is due and I am grateful to have run across your mailbag as it has raised my Boxing IQ and given me something to look forward to on Saturday Mornings. Thank you for your dedication to your craft, principles, and boxing as a whole. Alright, onto my questions...

1-I was reading J Prince's Autobiography/Memoir "The Art & Science of Respect" (A great read I must add) and it stated that he almost had a Mega Match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, Jr. setup for at least 17 million a piece. But before it could happen, RJJ took on Tarver in the rematch and... well... we KNOW what happened there. My question is; If the fight would have went down, who do you see winning and how do you see it playing out? I remember being in college and arguing with my dormmates about that fantasy fight. I NEVER knew it may have actually happened. I'm back and forth on who'd take the win.

2-Do you think it is better for a fighter to stay near his fighting weight all the time i.e. B-Hop and GGG? Or walk around heavier and cut down to a smaller weight class and take advantage of your size post rehydration i.e. Canelo and Danny Jacobs?

3-Lastly, I am a big Tim Bradley fan. I recall watching his fight against Marquez thinking he was the biggest threat to Mayweather/Pac-Man at the time. It was a masterclass in my eyes. However, he could NOT deal with Manny the same way. My question is; What are some of the factors that dictate how a fighter can do amazing against the fighter (JMM) who beat the fighter (MP) he went to hell and back with? Style differences? Off night? Bad Camp?

Thanks for taking the time to answer whatever you can. If it's too long, please cut the fat or do what you see fit. Keep up the great work!

Bless UP,
Lamarr

Bread’s Response: Thank you. I have always thought that Roy Jones made the biggest mistake in boxing history for not staying at heavyweight and fighting the smaller heavyweights circa 03-04. He went down in weight which is always a struggle but then he did it for less money vs Tarver who was no where near as known as the heavyweights Jones could have fought. I still can’t understand the logic of going down in weight to fight for significantly less money.

I think Jones would have beaten Tyson after the Ruiz fight. Tyson on his best day beats Jones. But Tyson’s best day was in the 80s. Tyson was slower by 2003, he had no confidence and he was not a fighter anymore. Jones’s speed and reflexes would have frustrated him at that time. I am as sure as I can be about a hypothetical fight. I love Roy Jones. I think he’s actually historically underrated. But making great decisions in and out of the ring alter the legacy. No one would have ever said he ducked Tarver if he didn’t go back down to lightheavyweight.

It depends on the fighter. If you can cut 25lbs, and hydrate perfectly. And don’t lose muscle and keep your stamina you have a huge advantage come fight night. It takes more discipline to stay closer to the weight because you are depriving yourself of calories year around. For the record I never believed GGG stays at 165lbs and fights at 160. His rehydration weight and chubby cheeks between fights tell me that’s a myth. GGG is seen on numerous videos training in a rubber sauna suit. No fighter who is 5lbs over needs that hot sauna suit. Fighters in this era are not disciplined enough to stay that close to the weight and they aren’t skilled enough to naturally be 5lbs-10lbs naturally over the weight and reach a high level. Only Mayweather and Pacquiao do it and that’s why they are the best two fighters of the last 2 decades.

The triangle theory in boxing does not work. Ali can beat George Foreman. Ali struggles and loses to Ken Norton. But Foreman kos Norton easy.

Pacquiao has faster feet and hands than Marquez. Marquez is a great fighter but he relies on skill and counter punching. Manny is more athletic and explosive. Bradley can also make Marquez lead more and come after him. Marquez is very vulnerable when he’s made to lead. That’s where most of his losses have come. Where as Marquez makes Manny lead more. Bradley is usually a step behind Manny. Bradley is an excellent all around fighter but he can’t counter punch like Marquez. So overall Manny is a tougher match up for Bradley than Marquez is. I hope you followed that….

Hey Bread,

On Facebook, Ring magazine is doing a profile on the best fighters from countries around the world (Carlos Monzon:Argentina, Sam Langford:Canada). There was some controversy when they chose Jeff Fenech for Australia, as some thought Kostya Tszyu should’ve been given that distinction (before you ask, I believe it counts if you weren’t born in that country but fight under its flag).

My point? I don’t envy Ring magazine when they get to Puerto Rico (they haven’t got there at the time of this writing). That one won’t be easy to say the least! Who do you see as Puerto Rico’s best? For me personally, it’s a toss-up between Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad.

While I’m here, how do you see these Puerto Rican matchups going down:

Miguel Cotto vs Felix Trinidad @160?
Felix Trinidad vs Hector Camacho @154?
Wilfredo Gomez vs Hector Camacho @130?
Miguel Cotto vs Hector Camacho @154?
Much appreciated!

Bread’s Response: I saw RING’s special on 20/20 and boy it’s tough. I agree on Monzon for Argentina, Fenech for Australia and Langford for Canada. I think Cuba is a toss up. RING picked Napoles but Kid Gavilan and Kid Chocolate have strong cases.

Puerto Rico is also tough. Miguel Cotto may be the most accomplished Puerto Rican fighter ever and as time goes on he’s really been underrated. Him winning titles from 140-160 and taking on the killers he did is amazing. He’s moved into the argument recently.

Puerto Rico has 4 fighters who I think have the case. Wilfredo Gomez, Carlos Ortiz, Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto. It’s closer than people realize. I know people who think Ortiz was better than them all on his best day. But I don’t think he’s as decorated at the other 3. Tito was most popular. Cotto won most titles in most divisions. Gomez had the longest reign and most title defenses….

Today I will just say Tito. Generational bias is my honest reason. He’s the one I saw when I knew what I was looking at. But Ortiz and Gomez rate just as good as him on video and possibly legacy. Cotto got that 4th lineal title…

Cotto can’t beat Tito head to head at any weight. Tito was just too strong and mean and indefatigable.

Tito already beat Camacho at 147. 154 would be worse.

Gomez was at his best at 122. Camacho too big at 130 but Gomez is better overall.

Cotto too much character for Camacho. He would put Camacho into survival mode at some point. Less flash but an overall better fighter.

Bread:

I got a Philly question for you. Did you hear any talk of how good of an amateur Leroy "Bucky" Davis was before he got caught up in the Philly streets and the Junior Black Mafia (JBM)? Also, Aaron "Homicide" Mitchell, another Philly cat, fought in DC a lot as a pro and was real tough in his prime years (14 straight stoppages). I always wondered why he never got a significant fight. Please share any insight on this if you have any.

Not part of the question: Watching the GG fight. Derevyanchenko is giving it to him. Boxing is truly a young man's game.

Simba Sana

Bread’s Response: Yes I did hear Bucky was very good. He was from Southwest Philadelphia. My grand mom lived on what we call in Philly a “popping block”. Meaning plenty of action. She also lived in Southwest Philly my entire life. I didn’t know Bucky because he was a lot older than I am. But I routinely saw fighters like Frank “The Animal” Fletcher and Johnny “The Dancing Machine” Carter. They were friends with my Aunts and Uncles.

Unfortunately for Bucky Davis, the crack epidemic had just hit Philly and the gangs were taking over. The streets cost him his life like many others.

JBM…..I see you have done some research on the streets of Philadelphia.

I know Aaron Mitchell. He has a twin brother Eric. They come to the gym all the time. Mitchell could really fight. I don’t know what happened. Maybe promotional issues. But he was an excellent fighter.

Did you hear about trainer Ali Bashir being suckered punched as his fighter was about to weigh in for her bout with Claressa Shields? What do you make of the situation?

Bread’s Response: Once a video starts rolling the incident has already started. From what I read, Shields wanted to unofficially try the scale out. Bashir walked over to look at the scale. Someone from Shields’s team confronted him.

I still don’t know if he has a right to look at Shields’s weight in an unofficial capacity. I can see both sides. He can say if she’s over they may try to tamper with the scale since it was in her hometown. Team Shields can say it’s none of his business what she weighs unless it’s the OFFICIAL weigh in…..

Apparently after that, a verbal altercation broke out between Bashir and the female member of team Shields. Then after a few minutes someone punched Bashir and seriously injured him.

I don’t know enough about what happened to start assigning blame. What I do know is it shouldn’t have ever happened? There are too many members of the entourage that have free reign at the weigh ins. I’m actually surprised that this doesn’t happen more often. In football your family can’t go on the field in the pre game and talk stuff to members of the opposing team. In boxing I have seen at almost every fight, ignorant, violent members of teams harass and disrespect fighters and team members.

I am in no way blaming Shields. Blame is not the right word. But it is some of her responsibility. It’s not fair but life isn’t fair. If your team members or supporters get into violent altercations it reflects upon the leader and CEO of the team. It’s just how it is.

However I want to point out from the video I didn’t see Shields do anything wrong.

On another note. I think boxers need insurance. Fight camps are expensive and once those expenses start piling up, fighters should be compensated for camps. Just look. The promotion lost tons of money. The trainers, trained for free, and the fighters don’t get paid. It’s ridiculous.

So not only do the fighters need an insurance for these type of incidents, positive ped test, injuries etc. But so do the entire promotion.
I also believe security at weigh ins needs to be ramped up. Security needs to be briefed on who’s fighting who and who may have an adversarial relationship.

As for these useless entourages. This is the same dynamic with the rappers who have 40 people on their tour buses. If it’s not the PR person, trainer, manager, cut man or strength coach, every one else needs to support from afar or in the stands of the fight. They bring nothing to the table except fighting members of the other team and heckling. This is where the violence starts. Because they serve no other purpose. Now Claressa Shields loses out on a huge payday. She has to answer questions she probably doesn’t know the answer to. Showtime may pull the plug on women’s boxing. She may get sued if it turns out the assailant was related to her. All of this over an argument at the weigh in. Whatever Bashir said,  wasn’t worth millions of dollars. And I’m not justifying his course of words towards the lady on the video. The whole incident was avoidable.

Hello Bread,

I hope all is well.

The other day, I was wearing a boxing shirt to work, and one of my coworkers said that he believed Rocky Marciano was the greatest boxer of all time. I obviously disagree, but it did raise an interesting internal question: What’s Rocky Marciano’s place in heavyweight history?

What do you think of Rocky Marciano?

This may sound odd, but I believe The Brockton Blockbuster is simultaneously overrated and underrated. He’s overrated by those fans who just look at his record, and underrated by those who say his opponents were inferior (only somewhat true IMHO). The relative lack of quality opposition in Rocky’s day (certainly in comparison to the Golden Age of Heavyweights that would follow a generation later) was not his fault. He did what a champ is supposed to do: Win the title and defend it against whoever they put in front of you. Sure, if Rocky had reigned during the Golden Age of Heavyweights, and beaten the likes of Liston, Ali, Frazier, Norton, and Foreman (highly unlikely, but humor me) do you think my coworker’s statement of Rocky being the best would be true? I think he might have a case if that were so.

Sorry for the length of my letter, but I just don’t know where to place Rocky Marciano among the best heavyweights. By today’s standards, Rocky wouldn’t even be a heavyweight, he’d be a cruiserweight. If you could give me a quick summary of your thoughts on Rocky, I’d appreciate it.
Thanks,
Greg

P.S. On the subject of matchups, maybe you could give me your take on some imaginary matchups:

Rocky Marciano vs Muhammad Ali
Rocky Marciano vs Ken Norton
Rocky Marciano vs Sonny Liston
Rocky Marciano vs George Foreman
Rocky Marciano vs Larry Holmes
Rocky Marciano vs Joe Frazier
Rocky Marciano vs Floyd Patterson

Bread’s Response: I actually had this talk with a fighter last week. Rocky Marciano is in fact an overrated and underrated fighter. The people who say he’s the greatest boxer ever are most likely Italian. Let’s just be honest. He’s not, I don’t care what his record was.

On the same note he’s underrated because he can’t help when he was born. He fought 49 times in 8 years and he fought the best available guy consistently and beat them. You can only fight who’s in your era. And he fought the best fighters in his era. He’s a for sure a top 10 ALL TIME Heavyweight. He has to be on consistency alone he’s just not the best.

If you’re fair you have to admit some of his biggest fights were against older fighters but they all weren’t shot. Let’s look at them. Joe Louis was completely shot. That’s easy to see and admit. But that’s how boxing works through attrition. Older great fighter takes on young stud and gets forced into retirement.

Jersey Joe Walcott was older but he was NOT shot by a long shot. He was the reigning heavyweight champion of the world and he had just defeated Ezzard Charles back to back who is still a top 10 P4P all time til this day. In the 50s Charles had a case for top 2 or 3 ever. It wasn’t as if Walcott was a reigning champion for 10 years and was slipping. This was his 1st title because he had came up short on 4 other title shots. Walcott was a late bloomer. Marciano needs full credit for that win.

Ezzard Charles was not in his prime. But he was another fighter who was far from shot. Charles had just came off of a historic run from 43-51 and although he had taken a couple of losses he was surging. He fought Marciano tooth and nail in their 1st fight. Think of where Whitaker was when he fought Oscar.

Archie Moore had won 42 out of 44 going into his fight with Marciano, then won 12 in a row after Marciano. He held his lightheavyweight title for 6 more years AFTER Marciano beat him. You can’t call him shot. It’s like saying Bernard Hopkins was shot when Jermaine Taylor and Joe Calzaghe beat him. He was from it. Moore had been bothering and chasing Marciano for years and he finally got what he wanted.

Roland Lastarza arguably beat Marciano in their 1st fight as contenders. Marciano gave him a rematch and stopped him in a title shot.

Marciano fought all of his toughest fights twice. He got earlier stoppages in each rematch Walcott, Charles and La Starza. All of his best opponents were bigger, more experienced and more athletic. He had an iron will and iron chin in an era where they fought in 6 oz, soft leather horse gloves. He was indefatigable. He had skill. He stayed on an angle, bent over to his right. But he hooked off the jab. He rolled. He threw his right hand over, under and to the body. He jabbed at an angle. And he never stopped coming.

He’s not the best heavyweight ever but he has to be top 10. He beat every contemporary from the late 40s to mid 50s with no slip ups. More physically imposing fighters like Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis who may be able to beat Marciano head to head. Were stopped by guys like Oliver McCall, Hasim Rahman and Buster Douglas. Marciano never had a night like that in his era and he beat better fighters than Rahman, Douglas and McCall.

I don’t care who you name in their primes. All of the best fighters from say circa 185lbs-200lbs. Evander Holyfield, Ollie Usyk, Roy Jones, James Toney, Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney whoever. Marciano may not run the table but he would win more than he lost. He was a flat out animal! All time great fighter!

I don’t know if Marciano would win any of the hypothetical match ups. I’m quite sure he wouldn’t beat Ali and Foreman. I’m reasonably sure he wouldn’t beat Holmes and Liston.

Frazier would be the favorite over him. Patterson and Norton are fights he could win but I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar.

That’s the fascinating thing about Marciano. He doesn’t match up great on paper or through analytics. But when you put him in a boxing ring with another man, he’s a different animal.

Hopefully this makes the bag the next week since it’s probably too late for coming Saturday. What makes anyone say that was an either or fight? I’m legit curious because I hear people say it but I know what I saw. They threw the same punches so it’s hard for me to buy into Porter outworking Spence. Spence did the cleaner work and outlanded him. It was a competitive fight but it wasn’t close imo. I wouldn’t have batted an eye at an 9-3 card. I don’t see 5 rounds for Porter but I wouldn’t cry at 7-5. There’s NO case for him winning the fight. He’s being rewarded for outperforming expectations. I saw you say 7-5, 6-6 on twitter and I’m calling you out, justify that.

Bread’s Response: You guys are something else. Get out of your feelings. I hope Errol Spence fans don’t turn out to be weird like some of the loyal fans of other fighters who have turned into cults. I like Errol Spence the kid is the TRUTH.

It’s bizarre you picked out that I said the fight was close. But you didn’t pick out that I said Spence was not overrated. You also fail to point out that I said he would not stop Porter and the fight would be competitive.

Who the $#%& do you think you are when you say you’re calling me out or for me to justify anything? Porter won between 5 and 7 rounds. I don’t need to justify that. Shawn Porter justified it. One of the judges who scored the fight justified it. The public knows Shawn Porter won between 5 and 7 rounds. Everybody at the fight knew it was close. Errol Spence knows it was close. I don’t think it was a robbery but it was close. What’s the big deal about being in a close fight vs an elite opponent in a unification fight? You blind loyal fans become weirdos when you obsess over fighters and get offended at anything that doesn’t make them look like they are walking on water.

In an era of watered down accomplishments, what do you think true champions have to do to distinguish themselves today? Move up in weight and win belts (i.e.: Thomas Hearns or James Toney)? Win the belts in one division and defend them as long as you can (i.e.: Wladimir Klitschko or Marvin Hagler)? Or a little of both (i.e.: Bernard Hopkins or Evander Holyfield)?

Bread’s Response: For me it’s simply consistently fighting the best available fighter, winning a high % of those fights and passing the eye ball test. I don’t care who moves up in weight. It’s great when a fighter does it but often times it’s used as a ducking measure and in this era it’s watered down.

I thought Pernell Whitaker was special while he was a lightweight. He only beat one great fighter at lightweight. Just one! Azumah Nelson. And Nelson was smaller and older moving up. But I knew what I was looking at. I also knew Whitaker was fighting the best available opponent and he unified all of the belts. He did all he could at the weight. That was enough for me. All of the moving up came later. But what he’s known for is being one of the best handful of lightweights ever, even though he was a welterweight champion longer.

What’s good Bro Bread. I just have a couple of takeaways from the Spence vs Porter match. First and foremost, Stand Up Mr. Porter!! I don’t think EJ was exposed at all I think Showtime is just finally getting the respect that if we’re being honest, he should have gotten a long time ago. He has never been outclassed by anyone. Something that I noticed though and I remember thinking this about Crawford in the Benavidez fight, but neither EJ nor Bud are very fast. I thought Shaun was noticeably quicker and that gave EJ problems but as the fight went on, I think EJ sort of adjusted with timing. The same thing happened to Bud in the beginning of the Benavidez fight. But back to Shawn I think his boxing intelligence is grossly undervalued. If you look at his last 3 or 4 fights, they were all fought differently, and he won or had a strong chance of winning. I know it shouldn’t have been a question, but I slightly questioned how Shawn would take a clean big shot and WOW!!! I felt the same chills you spoke off when Shawn started yelling at EJ after the knockdown.

As always, the debate goes back to who would win Bud or EJ and people sort of jumped off the EJ train saying that he was exposed but I see it differently. I think EJ responded exactly how you want to see a champion respond. I remember talking to you about Pac vs Thurman and how I felt Thurman was walking Pac down before the big body shot in the 10th. You said that great fighters have that clutch gene. I think we have seen it twice now from EJ. The Brooks fight we saw him step on the gas and close the show and now this fight we saw him come up with a big knockdown to separate himself. Crawford has never been in that deep and we really don’t know how he responds with being pushed. People will talk about him being buzzed in the Gamboa fight, but I think that came from a lack of focus. I don’t think he viewed Gamboa as a real threat. I don’t question his metal but 35 fights and no real 50-50 fights and never taking any punishment can that make you soft? Also, when does his pd4pd ranking begin to drop? I like Bud and I think he is a tremendous talent. I know that he has made the best decisions for his career, but he was already having a hard time finding quality opponents before resigning with TR so why resign unless deep down, he doesn’t want to prove he is the best. At this point I think it is fair to start questioning Buds greatness. How would he do if he had to go against Showtime, Onetime, The Truth, Pacman, Mikey, Swift? We don’t know and we never will. To me even if he fights EJ and wins it still doesn’t tell us much. That’s one fight against 50-50 opposition one time while all the other guys I named are doing it on a consistent basis.

Bread’s Response: I’ve been asked several questions about Spence and Crawford. So I won’t answer your entire question but I will talk about the word clutch.

In basketball there are players like Reggie Miller and Robert Horry who were known as clutch because they hit game winning shots consistently. But other players like Kareem Abdul Jabbar were clutch also. But they don’t get the same moniker. The reason why is because Jabbar often times was dominant enough to not let things come down to the last seconds.

Terence Crawford is clutch. He makes adjustments. He pulls away in his fights earlier than most fighters and he’s never needed a late round rally or knockdown. But I saw 3 fighters giving him serious trouble. Gamboa, Postol and Benavidez. All 3 looked to be even with Crawford after the first third of the fight. But he made an adjustment and pulled off consecutive dominant rounds and ran away with the fights.

Sometimes perspective causes us to mislabel athletes. Terence Crawford is 100% clutch. He just hasn’t had to make any last second shots yet.

Ssup Bread,

I have noticed that boxers whose defense is based on blocking punches seldom get appreciated unlike those whose defense is based on footwork or upper body movement. Floyd's guard defense was only appreciated because Crab defense is a little flashy to look at. I am one of the few who felt Porter won against  Spence and one of the many who felt Derevyachenko won against GGG. I will argue my point based on Spence vs Porter. Porter's posture was bent like a typical swarmer and a lot of punches Spence threw was blocked Porter's guard. Lot of body punches shouldn't have even counted as they landed on Porter's upper thigh or genital area. Quite a few body punches that landed on Porter's elbow got counted even though landing a punch on opponent's should not count at all. Porter's guard defense is not as flashy as Mayweather's and hence did not make an impact. Do let me know your thoughts.

Also, top 5 defensive boxers whose defense was based on their guard?
Regards,
Saurabh

Bread’s Response: I didn’t score either fight but they were eerily similar. Styles, postures, favorites, knockdowns….I saw two razor close fights were the A-sides got the benefit of the scoring. Neither was a robbery. Although I didn’t score it, I feel more comfortable thinking SD won that I do Porter.

Flashier defenses do get more credit. I always thought Vitali Klitshcko had excellent defense but no one talked about it. Chris Byrd got more credit for his defense in that era.

5 best guard based defenses. In no order. Winky Wright, Marvin Hagler, Julio Cesar Chavez, Evander Holyfield and Dwight Qawi.

What's up Bread?
Hope all is well.  Who wins right now and why?

1 - Tyson Fury vs. Andy Ruiz
2 - Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Artur Beterbiev
3 - David Benavidez vs Caleb Plant
4 - Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs. Demetrius Andrade
5 - Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs. Jermall Charlo
Derevyanchenko vs Andrade really needs to happen by the way, especially if Golovkin doesn't agree to a rematch right away because they are both with DAZN and Sergiy's stock is sky-high in the wake of his impressive performance against GGG.   
Peace,
William in West Palm

Bread’s Response:
1 - Fury 
2 -The Nail!
3 - Plant
4 - Andrade
5 - Charlo

Hey Mr Edwards
First time writer here. Enjoy your analyses immensely. Very educational. I'm going to anger you but before you shoot from the hip just know that ever since I picked Ali over Foreman when I was just 13 I've made some uncannily accurate predictions over the years. I want to contribute on the Spence-Crawford standoff and give you a prediction if and when they meet. I'm surprised you can't call this fight given your boxing savvy.
It's simple. Crawford beats Spence every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Here's my breakdown across three randomly selected criteria. (I could do more criteria but this email is long as it is)

1. Natural talent
Huge edge to Crawford. Spence looks to me like a "manufactured" fighter. What I mean is everything he applies he's been taught in the gym. Crawford looks like he's been fighting long before he set foot in a boxing gym. This may sound unimportant but I tell you that this is why Crawford is better at making adjustments than Spence. He has street smarts that come through in the ring and can really separate him in a tight fight. Spence failed to make a single adjustment in the Porter fight. And Porter simply does the same thing over and over again. Crawford would have found a way to make the victory more decisive than a split decision.

2. Ring generalship
I was surprised at how easily Porter rushed and cornered or confined Spence to areas of the ring where he wanted the action to take place. Spence failed to command any section of the ring perimeter. This can be put down to one of two things or both. Firstly, maybe Spence has limited ring awareness or secondly, he cannot move his feet under pressure. He moves along predetermined paths. Crawford is in my view the most ring aware fighter since Mayweather with perhaps Canelo a close second. It means Crawford will dictate to Spence where the exchanges must take place and if Spence also has a problem moving his feet under pressure Crawford will turn him into a plodder and also dictate when the exchanges must take place.

3. Power
I think I read somewhere that you did not know if Crawford hits hard enough to hurt Spence. If I'm wrong, my apologies. I know Spence has openly boasted that no welterweight has the power to hurt him. Let me tell you now, Crawford has the power to hurt Spence and believe me he will hurt him. Spence is not exactly difficult to hit. Porter, who in my view is the most inaccurate puncher at the top level was able to hit Spence flush a few times and stun him once or twice. The problem is that not only is Porter inaccurate, he also has very poor punch technique. Crawford is an accurate and punishing puncher because he turns his wrist properly when punching. There is more slash and whip to his punches than anyone Spence has ever faced. And Crawford is not delusional. He accepts that Gamboa buzzed him good and proper and he appreciates that in this business anyone can hurt anyone. So, where he will enter the ring believing that Spence can hurt him, Spence will enter the ring believing Crawford cannot hurt him. He will respect Spence's power and will respond appropriately. For Spence has some power although I believe it is sometimes overrated. For me, he has power like GGG., more of the heavy, thudding variety. Give me Crawford's power any day of the week.

And then there are the intangibles. One of these is desire. Crawford wants this fight. Spence doesn't want it. I'm a bit disappointed that you seem to buy into this "my side of the street" rubbish by Spence and his backers. It is nothing but cowardice and I'm glad Crawford has turned nasty judging by the "panties" comment. The best should desire to fight the best. When rumors surfaced that Cuevas was running scared of Duran, he personally hand delivered a written challenge to the offices of Ring magazine calling Duran out for a fight. Hearns fought Leonard. The list is endless. Big corporate banks with sophisticated and divergent business identities and relations find a way to enter the ring and do battle for the same customers. This PBC rubbish must come to an end because it has now become the apron behind which Spence is hiding from Crawford.

The other intangible is character. Spence is a liar. We all saw how he tried to go for the ko against Mikey Garcia but failed to get it because of poor punch selection and overrated power. Crawford is honest about what goes on in the ring.

The last intangible has to do with discipline. Crawford accused Spence of being drunk at ringside during the Potter-Garcia fight. I wouldn't say Spence was drunk but he certainly looked and sounded like he had been drinking. That's a weakness. How many other weaknesses are there? I don't know but whatever they are Crawford will find and exploit them.

Crawford by late tko or clear-cut decision. And you heard it from me first
Katlholo
Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bread’s Response:  I’m not angered. I just get slightly aggravated when people write in and get cocky. I can tell you are very knowledgeable. You make some great points that I agree with. But you’re a typical know it all who is basking in some unverified picks. Instead of coming off respectful you come off insulting. So I will write back in the same tone you wrote in.

I wasn’t even born in 1974 when Ali beat Foreman. So you can say all you want that you picked Ali. WE don’t have proof. I will tell you what though. Start sending in your picks from here on out. And we will keep track. Let’s see if you’re 100% like a perfect picker you slyly suggest you are.

You’re surprised I can’t see Crawford will beat Spence easy. You sound like this dude who used to write for another website that talked about him picking Mayweather over Mosley for 5 years after the fight. Mayweather was the dam favorite, as Crawford will be if he fights Spence.

I’ve never made a pick on Crawford vs Spence because sometimes things show up in the ring that don’t show up on paper or in previous fights. For example did you pick Norton to beat Ali? Spence is not over his head vs Crawford.

Now here is where I will give you credit. You assessment and breakdown is very good.

1. Crawford is more naturally talented. But you don’t know how either of them grew up. You don’t know if Spence fought in the streets. Maybe Crawford just processes better. I thought Spence did make an adjustment vs Porter. He was looking for that short left hand and he rolled Shawn’s head and he got it in. It won him the fight.

My comment about their punching power was I don’t know if Crawford is as strong as Spence or hit harder in reference to keeping Shawn Porter off. Let me teach you something about punching power. When 2 men enter the ring, the one takes the other one’s punch the best is the harder puncher. Period.

Crawford may in fact beat Porter easier. I would favor him. But I can’t give him credit for winning a fight he hasn’t fought.

2. Crawford has showed great ring awareness. But Spence fought a bulldog in Porter. Spence’s ring awareness was excellent vs the boxing and more calculated Mikey Garcia. Crawford doesn’t bull rush. So while you have a point, maybe Shawn’s style led to that. Let’s give Shawn some credit. We haven’t seen Crawford fight someone like Shawn Porter. As great as Mayweather is his ring generalship was better vs Juan Manuel Marquez than it was vs Marcos Maidana. We know Marquez is better than Maidana but yet Maidana gave Mayweather a tougher fight.

3. I have to see who takes the others punches better. Anyone can get clipped in a fight.

DESIRE- This is tricky for me because I know the business side of boxing. A fighter shouldn’t be talking like a businessman but it is relevant. Spence has a team for a reason. They have helped him get to this point. PBC is a huge company. They have about 5 in house fights for Errol Spence. They just won’t let Spence fight a Top Rank fighter in a fight where he will be an underdog when he hasn’t even fought Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, Danny Garcia and he’s expressed interest in moving up to fight Julian Williams.

In boxing the team that has less options always shows more desire to make the fights. I don’t have a horse in the race but I do have an objective perspective. A fight between Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford was also never made and they were in the same stable (Top Rank) for years. Yuri Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez were undefeated, in their primes, in the same weight class and had the same promoter and never fought. That’s a fact. This isn’t a PBC thing. This goes across the board in boxing. I’m not singling out Top Rank either. I consistently say they have the best matchmakers in boxing. But stop it with the PBC only let their guys fight each other. Over on DAZN they aren’t fighting each other. Andrade is 31 and yet to have a big fight. BJ Saunders also…

An Errol Spence fan can always ask a Terence Crawford fan why did he resign with Top Rank? I’m not saying who’s right or wrong. But that’s a real question. PBC has every relevant welterweight except for Crawford. Manny Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia both left Top Rank and started fighting on PBC cards and not coincidently got big PPV fights.

This story can go both ways. Big promoters tell whatever side of the story they want. Fighters have power but they don’t have absolute power. Top Rank is doing business with PBC while making Wilder vs Fury. This fight can be done. But unless you are in the back rooms you can’t start assigning blame. Only a selected few people know. Right now PBC has the upper hand because their star has more options and he’s younger so they are playing their hand. And you just don’t like it.

LIAR-I do agree with you that Spence wanted to ko Mikey Garcia. He just couldn’t and that’s ok. No one has a 100% ko ratio at the top level. But I believe all fighters lie about one thing or another. Hang around a few and you learn lots of contradictions.

DISCIPLINE- I’m not going to get into who gets drunk and who doesn’t. Some fighters drink alcohol and some don’t. It has more effect on some than it does others.

The weight issue I see and I agree with. Spence gets heavy in between fights. It’s obvious. Let’s see if it comes back to bite him.

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User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Chrismart on 10-13-2019

Another good piece from Bread. I enjoy his stuff on here and on Twitter.

Comment by Claude Palle on 10-13-2019

[QUOTE=4truth;20120899]I disagree but feel so stupid for totally misreading, that I have no further comment[/QUOTE] It happens. We all read things quickly at times. Liston was before my time so I cannot really speak of his skillset. His story is…

Comment by 4truth on 10-13-2019

[QUOTE=Claude Palle;20120888]"People don’t realize his prime was actually before his title reign. He was ridiculous in the late 50s" Breadman meant the 1950's, lol. Liston was 28-0 with 23 stoppages between 1955-1963.[/QUOTE] I disagree but feel so stupid for totally…

Comment by Claude Palle on 10-13-2019

[QUOTE=4truth;20119426]Maybe Breadman was joking but about Liston, I don’t know but he was no more than 35 when he fought Ali, probably just 33. Liston was definitely a beast but he only had basic skills and he was slow as…

Comment by 4truth on 10-12-2019

[QUOTE=CaptainWalrus;20119333]You're an expert.[/QUOTE] I’m old enough to have seen his fight with Ali and interested enough to have read about Liston. That doesn’t make me an expert but it makes me informed enough to spot BS.

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