The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez, Caleb Plant's fight with David Benavidez, Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford, Claressa Shields, and more.

Hi Bread, thanks for answering our questions. I've just been watching some Marvin Hagler clips and couldn't stop watching that time he said "I've been feeding the faith and I've been starving the doubt" I love that quote and his mindset. Just wondering are there any boxing quotes that you like to go to or enjoy or have had a positive effect on you? Any you got on the walls of your gym for example?

Sean in Ireland 

Bread’s Response: I have one of my own that I never heard anyone say except me. “Can’t Cheat the Grind, The Grind Knows All and Sees All. ”I have another “Dark Places” that has someone else started using after me and my fighters. But such is life. 

First time writer long time follower. Enjoy the mailbag. I'm 62 and have followed boxing for as long as I can remember and was an avid Roberto Duran fan. The first time he fought Leonard I made bank on picking Duran to win as I did picking Holyfield to beat Tyson. People thought I was out of my mind picking Duran. Sugar Ray was thought to be unbeatable at the time and understandably so he was Olympic gold medalist with exceptional skill. What I saw was a very young fighter going against a savvy experienced HF fighter with a very unique style and a defensive wiz who people gave little credit because of his aggressive tenacity who did fight the fight of his life and quite frankly I didn't think Leonard could stand up to his brutal assault. Ray proved a lot of people wrong and dug deep despite being beaten up in the early rounds and showed why he would become one of the all time greats by responding with a will and heart only the legends of the sport have. One disagreement I have with you on the Duran Leonard rematch is you said he had a nine week training camp but Duran by his own fault like most Latins of the day partied hard and his excessive weight was too much to overcome.

There were rumors he was using diuretics to lose weight like Ali did before Holmes fight. Even leading up to the fight there wasn't near the intensity as the first fight. I was concerned he wouldn't be up to second fight and was cautious betting on him. As I suspected when he did his ring walk he didn't look nearly as intense as the first go round. No excuses, Leonard did a number on him, despite this the fight wasn't a runaway. I knew Leonard learned a lot about himself in the first fight and doubted Duran would get the youngster the second time around. Would have to love to have seen the third fight much sooner, although I doubt it would have mattered it would have been fireworks with more than likely Leonard winning but a better show. Unfortunately quitting and Hearns in the wing Leonard chose to move on. Kudos to the tough fight Plant fought and great strategy your team implemented. The one thing I got tired hearing was hearing from so called boxing fans was Plant holding on. As long as I have been watching boxing this is the sign of a smart fighter, lesser fighters more often than not choose to try to fight their way out of being hurt and it ends up being disastrous. Experienced fighters hang on to recover and fight on. Keep up the great forum!

Paul Olivier

Bread’s Response: Caleb did a great job vs a great fighter in David Benavidez. Benavidez looks to be a P4P level fighter and Caleb was right with him. Critics are critics. But I will say it loud and clear. I’ve never heard a trainer tell his fighter to NOT clinch when he’s hurt. I’ve never one time heard a trainer say that in a real fight. Ali had as much heart as anyone EVER and when he was hurt he clinched. Floyd Mayweather is known for being the smartest fighter of a generation. And when he was visibly hurt he clinched. In the Chop Chop Corley and Shane Mosley fights where he was visibly wobbled, he clinched in order to get out of trouble. So this is the thing and it’s very simple. If you had an issue with Caleb clinching then you wanted to see him get kod. That’s it and that’s ok. We can all root for whom we choose to root for. But make no mistake, fans of Caleb wanted him to weather the storm by any means necessary. And fans of David wanted him to continue his ko streak. 

As for Leonard vs Duran I will say until I can’t say it anymore. Duran had time to train. They had just fought in June and the rematch was in November. Leonard thought Duran couldn’t be any better. But just because Leonard thought that, that doesn't mean it had to be true. Duran always drank. He always partied. I don’t believe the first drink he had or first party he went to was after June of 1980 after he beat Leonard. In my opinion 9 weeks is more than enough time to train for a fight when you had just fought a few months prior. Duran just couldn’t match the conditioning or intensity of the first fight. For as great as a fighter as he was, the first Leonard fight was even a higher level for him. So Leonard knowing Duran was a little over his head and knowing he liked to party asked for an immediate rematch. I’m not claiming Duran didn’t drink and party. I’m saying that he drank and partied before camp in most of his fights after he made money. But quitting brought out the excuses. Duran actually said he had sex with two women leading up to the Hearns fight. I believe him but that’s not why he lost. He lost because Hearns was Hearns. 

Leonard was 24 when Duran beat him. If he loses to him twice in a row the history of boxing is different. Leonard adjusted and he boxed the perfect fight. He made Duran punch on the move all night, where as in the first fight Duran got to punch at a target that was in front of him. Duran didn’t have the energy to track Leonard down and the excuses came. Benitez did the same thing to Duran 2 years later. The truth is that every big win that Duran had after the 1st Leonard fight was against fighters who tried to ko him. Davey Moore and Iran Barkley. Had Leonard fought the same style as he did in the 1st fight it would’ve been more competitive. But Duran just couldn’t be that special again. And it’s ok. It may be the great performance and win in history. That’s hard to repeat in back to back fights. And that was more of Duran’s issue than partying after a fight when he had 9 weeks to train. Duran gets credit for being a lightweight and beating a great welterweight. But then gets an excuse for being too heavy entering camp to fight the same welter again. Big, Big Duran fan. But Leonard called his bluff and said let me see you beat me again and Duran simply couldn’t.

How are you doing, Bread? I hope all is well.

I'm curious about something. Why do so many pundits and fighters consider Crawford-Spence to be a 50/50 fight when it clearly is not? Ray Charles could see that this isn't anything close to a 50/50 affair. Let me elaborate...Crawford has a larger toolbox than Spence. Of the two fighters, the only two categories I'd Spence in is having a slightly better chin and a slightly more dedicated body attack. The problem for Errol is the fact that he's a predictable fighter with a very consistent, methodical attack. He puts his head down and bores into his opponents with volume to the head and body. The problem with this type of one-dimensional approach is that it gives Bud countless counterpunching opportunities, something that will ultimately prove fatal.

Crawford is one of the 2-3 very best finishers in boxing. When he gets you hurt, he brings the curtain down. The biggest advantage Crawford has over Spence is that he's much lighter on his feet and much more easily floats in an out of power-punching range. As far as physical strength, I chuckle when I hear the pundits claim that Errol is the "bigger, stronger" fighter. He's a little bigger, but Bud has an obvious reach advantage. Crawford has a wrestling background. Most people don't know this. There are actually YouTube videos of Bud grappling with MMA fighters and more than holding his own, so the notion that Errol with overpower him is laughable.

All in all, I see Crawford at least a solid 2:1 favorite. I see this fight ending in a late stoppage in favor of Bud. Once Errol is made to realize that he's not the power puncher in this fight, it will do something to his confidence and it will be all downhill from there for him. Porter made Crawford uncomfortable for a few rounds. Until Bud made the necessary adjustments on the fly that he always does. I'm very happy this fight was finally made. Crawford-Spence within five days reminds me of when Leonard-Hearns and Sanchez-Gomez took place within I believe three weeks of each other in 1981.

Good times. Peace,

Carl Hewitt - Queens, NY

Bread’s Response: Just because Crawford is the more versatile fighter it doesn’t mean he should be the bigger favorite. I’ve seen fights go the other way depending on intangibles. Errol is more methodical but that works for him. He doesn’t try to do too much and I think that also is one of his biggest strengths. K I S. Keeping It Simple. I think Crawford is a slight favorite. The last time I saw it, he was at -110, which is about right. So according to betting odds Crawford is more like a 52/48 favorite. But let’s just keep it at 50/50 for arguments sake. 

The people who are backing Errol are saying he’s too strong, too forceful and his heart and will bring him the victory. We can’t measure his heart and will on paper. We have to see him in deep with a fighter like Crawford to be able to measure it correctly. But my question to you is what if Errol has Hagler’s heart and chin? What if Errol gets cooking with his jab and pressure? I also think Errol is more than one dimensional. I think he boxes better than people give him credit for but because he’s not flashy and he’s usually coming forward he doesn’t seem as dynamic as other boxers like Crawford or Ennis. But it doesn’t mean he can’t win. We have to see. The one thing I know about boxing, is sometimes fighters have to line up and fight each other because guessing what’s going to happen hypothetically is not the same as them fighting and fighting out.

Here are my personal assessments and questions I have without picking a winner. I don’t know who wins this fight just yet. First for Errol, can he take Crawford’s big punches in exchanges. Crawford has been on a savage ko streak and he’s in his groove. At some point in the fight he hits fighters with hard snappy shots they don’t see right in the middle of exchanges. Crawford seems to have Cat like eyes when it comes to that.  When Errol gets cooking, he usually doesn’t have to exchange with fighters because they shell up when he bares down on them. I don’t believe Crawford will shell up. I think he’s crazy in a good way and he’s going to fire WITH Errol. Errol has a good chin but it’s different when a fighter hits you WHILE you’re punching. 

My next question is for Crawford. Can Crawford start better defensively than he has in some of his recent fights. Crawford is an excellent defensive fighter but for some reason he gives up points and good shots early before his mind and eyes adjust. I’m curious to see how long it will take for Crawford to find his groove and what is happening during that time before he finds the groove. Errol is a strong puncher, he hits the body and he has a hard consistent jab. It may not snow often in Texas but Errol is a snowball fighter. Crawford doesn’t want to let Errol get to snowballing. Those are the two biggest keys to the fight. Can Errol take Crawford’s punches in exchanges? Can Crawford not get too damaged or allow Errol to get too much momentum early when he’s adjusting…. ?                                                                                     

Hi Breadman!

I wanted to ask three things about Marcos Maidana today.1. What did Robert Garcia do that made Maidana go from losing to Devon Alexander to almost defeating Floyd Mayweather Jr? 2. I once saw an interview where Maidana said that he did not like Boxing and avoided studying film tapes for fights. I was quite surprised by this. What do you think was so unique about Maidana's psychology that he could walk through fire despite not even liking the sport? 3. How do you think 2013 Maidana (who beat Broner) would have fared against 2010 Amir Khan (who beat Maidana)?

Hope you enjoy the fight weekend! 

Bread’s Response: Robert Garcia did such a great job with Maidana. He was 1 round clean round away from scoring the biggest win of the decade. He really turned Maidana around. Garcia doesn’t get ENOUGH credit for that performance because Maidana didn’t win. But that was a heck of a performance. I don’t know what he did because I’m not in camp with him. But I suspect it was increasing his conditioning. If I’m not mistaken they used Alex Ariza in the 1st fight. I also think he worked on Maidana’s jab. Maidana landed a nice jab on Mayweather.

Maidana is a savage. Sometimes we have to realize the context in which someone says something. Especially a fighter. Maidana may not like the professionalism of boxing but he may like to fight. I don’t know. But he’s a natural fighter. He doesn’t overthink he just fights. He’s also gifted with very heavy hands which allows you to get away with things. Not loving something and being able to do something well does not have to be exclusive.

Maidana by ko in a war over Khan at his peak.

Hi Breadman,

As always, thank you for your time and your thoughts, both are equally appreciated. I wanted to touch on a few things regarding the upcoming fight with of Taylor vs Teo. Firstly, I was shocked to see this is not in the main MSG arena and only the 4,000 seater. Neither fighter has shown great form recently but a fight of this magnitude could surely have been built better. I get the feel Bob Arum is becoming a bit lazy, even the promotion up to now has been non existent. I'm also big Josh Taylor guy,  but I'm fair. Jack Catterall beat him comfortably and he looked terrible that night,  it was tough to watch. Looking back at it, here is Scotland there was a documentary shot prior to the fight and it was clear Taylor wasn't taking it seriously. He came into  camp heavy, had injuries and spent too much time indulging outside the ring. On fight night he looked so weak and drained of energy.

I am a big fan of Ben Davidson but at what point do you tell a fighter your not willing to let a fight happen, not only for the sake of their health and reputation but also yours. The relationship between the two looked too friendly and josh looks to respond better to someone that can show discipline. It reminded me of how Tyson Fury looked against Otto Wallin. He looked like he had not timed camp correctly at all but we don't see what happens behind the scenes. I think he was taken away from his strengths, the Taylor a few fight before would have stopped ramirez that hight. He is never a fighter to coast and I could see the tactics were conflicting with his instincts. I was a but surprised to see you fancy Teo for this one. One thing I would say is the new coach is excellent and his style gells very well with Taylor. I see a dominant beat down and I can forsee teo quitting mid to late.

Taylor is not the guy you want when you are low on confidence because he will be relentless and this fight will show him fully dedicated and angry. I also find vicious characters respond better to genuine dislike and he will have no issue with this, Teo and his dad will have Taylor really up for this. Taylor will target the body and systematically break him down.I also wanted to touch on recent issues around judges. Boxing is one of the only sports you can legally rob people but to any sane person it's incredible that in this day and age judges are willing to risk their own integrity to support certain promotors / agendas. I also find judging in general to be interesting. It's funny to see how often someone is given a round just because they didn't do as badly as they did in the previous round. Improving on a poor round doesn't mean you necessarily win it, you just weren't as bad. This happens so often. It's also very frustrating that these judges don't have to justify themselves post fight. They just lay low and wait until they get another huge fight, it baffles me.

One thing that has been great this year is so many big fights being made. It's interesting to see how a few big fights seem to get the ball rolling and it's been an exciting year. I do have to say I am disappointed in tyson fury. I am a fan but for him to flip the narrative and suggest usyk ducked him is ridiculous. Usyk has taken most of his biggest fights in away territory and seems to genuinely chase history. I actually feel tyson would win the fight but he needs to be careful with how this effects his reputation. Who wins that fight for you? Finally, how do you handle discipline in your gym? How many people have you ejected over the years? Do you have set rules around behaviours like mobile phone usage and language? Have you ever had fighters react angrily to your opinions in your mailbag? I also wanted to ask a question around corners instructions. Do you use code words? I find it odd that I can clearly hear a coach shout an instruction that the other fighter and corner also hear and can take into consideration with their own tactics.

As always, thanks very much.

Brian, Glasgow.

Bread’s Response: I don’t own the gym I train at so there are things I can say and things I can’t. If I rent out gym space for a big fight, everyone has to leave out during the times we rent it out. Everybody means everybody. If we have fights coming up and someone is on the heavybag I respectfully ask them if we can use it. I don’t allow people to yell instructions to my fighters. I don’t let people get on the speed bag while we are sparring. I don’t let people video sparring. I also expect my fighters to get in the gym and be dressed within 5 minutes. And within 10 minutes warmed up and ready to go with no phones.

No one that I know of has been upset about my mailbag. But I don’t discuss that with fighters and most times I don’t even know if they know I write a mailbag. I’m not saying they don’t know, I’m saying it’s not something I discuss. 

However, I have had fighters not like me picking against them in fights. One actually inboxed me and said dam coach I’m surprised to see you picked against me. I told him that was my honest opinion and I’m sorry if I offended him. He lost the fight by ko….

Josh Taylor is one of my favorite fighters. But he’s changed trainers a few times. I think he’s had 4 trainers in 19 fights. I think he struggles to make weight. I also thought he lost clean to Jack Catterral. And I think Teofimo is really quick handed. I’m also interested to see how Lopez’s chin holds up but I think he may be too quick for Taylor who busts up and seems to struggle to get on weight. When a tall fighter like Taylor is weight drained, he becomes a BIG target. Under normal circumstances I would pick Taylor. But not under these circumstances.

The Takeover vs The Tartan Tornado There are 3/4 key factors as far as I can see. 1. Taylor is the more adaptable fighter, able to change during the fight based on what is happening. If he needs to dog it he will dog it if he needs to box he will box. Teo always fights the same way which is more successful when you are stronger than your opponents at the weight, you don't need to adapt so much as they need to adapt to you. 2. Teo said the worst thing possible to somebody from Glasgow. When you get to a certain point north in England and then up into Scotland they don't play. Saying he wants to kill Taylor is a very bad move and not going to have any kind of desirable effect he could want. Taylor will be even more up for it now. If Taylor can hurt him bad he will, see the end of the Ohara Davies fight. 3+4 Are can Taylor still make the weight and maintain his punch output, and will he take the latter part of the fight off as he's had a tendency to do a few times now. It nearly cost him against Jose Ramirez. I'll be looking at the weigh-in closely but as of now I see a wide 117-111 type points win for Taylor. Teo has a pretty good chin even though he's been dropped before and Taylor doesn't punch the same since he's tighter at the weight.

Bread’s Response: 1. I agree Taylor is the more complete fighter. But I think Teo is the more talented fighter. He has quicker trigger release and I believe he will have a hand speed advantage.

2. Teo said he wants to kill Taylor. It wasn’t a great thing to say but it’s boxing. If Taylor needs more motivation so be it. I don’t want to get into that because after their last performances BOTH need this fight.

3. I think the weight is a big issue for Taylor. I’m not inside his camp but he’s really tall. His body looks dried out. And you’re right he has to sort of slow himself down late in fights. Taylor has the frame of a welterweight.

Hey breadman.  First time, long time.  Looking at the first video I saw of Spence and Crawford jaw jacking after a fight a few years ago, both seemed to be holding back smiles.  Reading between the lines over the years it seems like these two are friendly towards each other.  If they are friends behind the scenes, how do you think that would affect their fight?As opposed to fights like Leonard Duran, Fernando Vargas and Oscar, where it was clear that these guys did not like each other at all.

Thanks, Eric 

Bread’s Response: Spence vs Crawford sells itself. Those guys are competitive killers, they are going to fight their a$$es off. Don’t worry. I believe their styles mesh well. Spence is not a big trash talker and Crawford only seems to talk trash when you talk it to him. I think they’re fine with acting like sportsman.

Dear Mr. Edwards,    

I don't mean to diss Claressa Shields, a splendid fighter who has done a lot not only for women's boxing but for boxing in general. Still, when I see her corner promoting her as the GWOAT I can't help wondering how she or any woman fighter active today could have stood up to Lucia Rijker. In her prime I thought Rijker could have beaten most men her size. But I realize she didn't have the competition available that exists today.    I wonder what you think.


Leslie Gerber, Woodstock NY

Bread’s Response: Lucia Rijker was a great fighter. One of the best I’ve seen. But Claressa Shields is every bit her equal and has a claim as the GWOAT. Shields is the truth. I have no issue with Shields claiming GWOAT status. If she’s not the best/greatest women’s boxer ever, she’s among the select few who have a real argument.

Hey Breadman,

Hope you are good. First time writing in. Wanted to get your take on the Toussant fight this past weekend if you saw it. I thought it was pretty close, so I wasn't in an uproar over a split decision. What I've seen online makes it sound like the robbery of the century. I had him winning but it seemed like a draw or a one round swing the other way was possible. Curious how you viewed it. I think what was more upsetting was the point deduction by the ref. Aren't they supposed to give a hard warning or is that normal? Not sure what to think of the stoppage too, since I remember that Badou Jack fight where he had a mask of blood for a lot of rounds. Also what did you think of Claressa's performance?


Bread’s Response: I thought Shields did her thing. She’s one of the most conditioned fighters in the world. She throws fast, sharp, hard punches throughout each fight. She may not be a big ko puncher but she punches hard enough that no one walks through her. She’s going to be very hard to beat. She’s strong, she has determination, she throws a variety of punches. She takes a good shot. She has talent. 

My only small critique is she seemed to load up some on right hands. I think the lack of kos is starting to aggravate her. Again, I think she punches hard enough. I think if she changed up her punch sequence a little more. Went to the body and changed the rhythm of her attack. Instead of boom-boom-boom-boom. Maybe Boom-pause, boom. It also looks like she doesn’t clinch her fist and snap as the punch is landing. But other than that Shields may be the best women’s boxer ever. She’s a great fighter!

I caught that Holmes vs Toussant fight. I thought Wendy Toussant was getting the better of the work. I don’t know how it would have ended but from what I saw Toussant was winning. I hate when fights have those sort of endings. They should rematch. If they don’t then you know why because Toussant was the B side and I’m sure he wants another crack at getting the win. I think Holmes is a solid fighter though. Maybe he would’ve stepped on it. Maybe he was just a little off. But a rematch would give clarity.

Hello Breadman ,                            

Now that Spence Crawford has been signed . Who wins this fight . It was reported that the loser can exercise a rematch clause within thirty days , but rematch must take place this calendar year . Here is my question . What if no one loses . What if the fight is a draw . Do we get the rematch . I think this is what is going to happen . Fight will go the distance and will be a draw with controversy . Then we get the rematch . Spence is a few years younger and can stay on the outside and box Crawford . I don't think this fight is fifty fifty . I think it is sixty forty Spence.                            

So looking forward to your comments on this fight .                                                                                      

Thank You                                                                                          


Bread’s Response: The great thing about this fight is it’s almost even in terms of who people think will win. I don’t have a pick just yet. I just have some keys to the fight. Can Spence get past Crawford’s deadly shots in exchanges? Can Crawford stop Spence from his snowball technical pressure? Can Spence just box Crawford like he did Mikey Garcia? At what point in the fight will Crawford stop boxing so much and start attacking? Who is the strongest? Man I love this match up, if both are 90% of their normal selves, this has a chance of being the Fight of the Decade.

Hi Breadman,                

I pray God is blessing and continues to bless you and your family and  the fans of your mailbag and their families. I think that Josh Taylor is going to beat up Lopez very badly. Lopez is like Joshua after Ruiz and Broner after Maidana .  His psyche , confidence and self-image  have been shattered by his loss to Kambosos.,  The level of denial he is in is scary and to his detriment. I’m catching up on some fights and I watched Taylor vs Catterall  and Lopez’s fight with Martin. They both lost but Taylor looks a lot better to me than Lopez. Lopez got dropped twice even though the ref called it a slip and his aggression was totally ineffective. Taylor is coming off a long layoff but I just   feel he is bigger , stronger and just better. I think Lopez is on the downside of his career already. I watch Stephen Fulton for the first time and while I think he is talented the fight I saw him in vs Brandon Figueroa I feel he lost. I’ve got to go with Inoue. I just think that he is going to do damage when he lands shots .

Maybe Fulton will rise to the occasion like other Philly fighters have in the past like Bam Bam  Hines vs Hilton, Hopkins vs Trinidad, Raheem vs Morales but based on what I ‘ve seen I have to go with Inoue. I got bored and fell asleep after 6 rds of Haney and  Loma but watched the other 6rds yesterday and I agree with you it was a draw. I wanted Loma to win because he is more entertaining but the 12th rd. did him in because he got tired. That was no robbery. Haney was doing good work to Loma’s body which I think a lot of fans tend to ignore. Loma’s 2rds 10th and 11th were more visually pleasing but weren’t enough to make him  a decisive winner.

I think expectations played a part in the outrage because people thought  this fight was going to be coronation for Haney and not a close , competitive fight.  I took 2 things away from this fight. Haney has a lot of improving to do if he thinks he can beat Tank. If he comes in the ring for Tank like he did for Loma , he is going to get knocked out.  Loma in his prime would  have dominated Haney and  probably stopped him.  Haney needs to fight Loma again because his credibility is not good with the boxing public right now.                                              

God bless and take care,                                                                                                

Blood and Guts from Philly

PS - Dave Moretti should never be allowed to judge a fight ever again from ringside. He is a disgrace. Beyond pathetic. People need to stop saying the fight was either a draw or Loma won. If you felt it could be called a draw then that means Haney has as much right to feel he won as Loma. DUH! LOL!

Bread’s Response: So you like Taylor over Lopez like most people. I like Lopez for some reason. I think he will rise to the occasion and be a little bit too quick.

Stephen Fulton has subtle physicality. He has hit a groove in walking fighters down. He knows just when to start the process also. He starts throwing short punches in his aggressive mode. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if this fight looked like Bhop vs Tito. Bigger all around fighter vs dynamic smaller fighter moving up. 

Mr. Edwards,

I trust all is well with your family, friends and fighters! You are the truth when it comes to information!Now…my question is this;How does CBS(Fulton) vs Da’ Monster(Inoue) play out in your opinion? I think it’s a close one. As Inoue has stated, he has yet to fight a black athlete, but looks forward to it bc of the speed and athleticism. Obviously it’s more than just speed, athleticism; you have IQ, generalship, defense, etc..I believe that it will be tit for tat in the first 6-8 rounds, then Fulton’s body work will have slowed Inoue down enough for him to get close and extra physical. Plus they should’ve felt each others powers and weaknesses by that stretch. I would love to hear your humble and honest opinion on this fight.

Thank You,

Jon L. aka NC Uppercut

Bread’s Response: I think Fulton will box him as he feels him out. Meanwhile Inoue will be jabbing and trying to tear his head off. At some point during the fight Fulton will start to try to impose himself. I know it sounds weird considering his lack of kos but Fulton has evolved into a hybrid fighter. He’s not just a cute boxer. He has some Andre Ward and Winky Wright in his game. I feel like if Fulton can defend Inoue’s liver hook, he’s cooking with grease but that’s a big IF. Inoue may be the best fighter in the world P4P, it sounds simple but it’s not easy. Look for Fulton to look like a Junior Lightweight as Inoue looks like a Junior Bantamweight.

So one of the boxing pages I follow on Facebook posted that two days ago Harry Greb was born in 1894. I clicked on it and there was a mini-article that talked about how so many boxers were befuddled by the fighting style of "The Pittsburgh Windmill". And that mini-article dropped an interesting kind of proverb I'd never heard before that may explain how he could throw off so many fighters with seemingly more polished techniques and pedigree: "The world's greatest swordsman need not concern himself with the world's second greatest swordsman. It's the man who's never picked up a sword a day in his life that should worry him." I thought that was super interesting and maybe, at least in some way, spoke to how difficult it must have been to contain or counter him.

I mean, so many boxers rely on timing for their punches, and it's gotta be difficult to time a guy as erratic as Greb seemed to have been. I've read past mailbags where you think incredibly highly of Greb, and have him in your GOAT conversations. And just looking at his record, I agree. It's insane how consistently good he was. From my own quick research, he was so good that he handed Gene Tunney his only defeat, and there was only one fight of theirs where folks thought Tunney was the clear winner. I just wish we had footage of him so we could put him to the eyeball test. In my mind's eye, I picture an even more seemingly erratic and untamed version of Roberto Duran, but that's pure speculation. But what we do know is still bonkers. Him fighting and WINNING 44 or 45 fights in 1919 alone is nuts!! The only knock I can find against him is that he didn't have much in the way of one punch KO power (only about a quarter of his wins were KOs or TKOs or RTDs). I also find it interesting that we think higher of him now than his contemporaries did. Why do you think that is? Has the passage of time revealed to us how good he is?

And what are your thoughts on that swordsman proverb? You think there's something to that in boxing? Sorry I'm rambling now, but Greb is just one of boxing's more fascinating characters to me (and that bar is already set pretty high!) What are your thoughts on Greb and all this?

Greg K. 

Bread’s Response: I think Harry Greb is one of the best fighters in history. I don’t think his lack of kos is a knock on him. He was winning. A lack of kos is only telling in specific circumstances but as long as it doesn’t stop you from winning then it doesn’t effect my assessment of a fighter. Greb won at the top level. I have seen fighters elevate as time went on. Ezzard Charles being the most elevated. At one time historians considered Archie Moore the superior fighter. Then around 20 years ago, a forensic look at Charles’s record was taken and Charles was elevated to being the best light heavyweight ever. I think that was accurate. Charles beat Moore 3 out of 3 times. He stopped him once. He had a better peak from 1943-51. And he did better vs common opponents. Charles’s biggest detraction was his horrible slide at the end. He didn’t last as long as Moore. But his peak was higher and he did better vs common opponents and head to head. Charles has the edge. 

However, The Harry Greb phenomenon has taken a life of it’s own. While I think Greb is on the level, I don’t understand the crusade to have him #1 all time when no one can see him fight and on top of that no in his day regarded him that high. With Charles we have tangible proof he was better than Moore. With Greb we don’t have it and we don’t have the recollection of the experts of his day. 

I’m not saying he’s not the best fighter ever. I’m saying there is literally no proof except for an excellent record but not a perfect one. I also don’t get why the best fighters of his time were filmed but he wasn’t. Benny Leonard, Joe Gans, Sam Langford, Mickey Walker, Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey….All of the top guys of his era were filmed and he wasn’t. Again I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t like to over think things. But I just don’t understand certain things. So while I put Geb amongst the best ever, especially with his victories over Mickey Walker and Gene Tunney. I don’t argue for him being #1 because of the lack of proof. In my opinion anyone who does argue hard, has ulterior motives.

I love the Swordsmen proverb. Absolutely love it. Sometimes an unconventional mind conforms better than a trained one. Greb seemed to be very imaginative in his approach which seemed to throw everyone off.


George Foreman earlier in his life was a mugger, he robbed people to get by. It's been said that he had to be this way, take on a mean persona, to survive in the rough environment he was in. He carried this attitude with him into his boxing career, and also learned from and imitated the intimidation aura of Sonny Liston. And this is why Ali was able to break him when they fought. Foreman was acting up to an idea of being a tough guy, whereas Ali KNEW he was tough. This goes for before the fight as well as during the fight. Big George said "It was years before I could look in the mirror and say I am who I want to be".

During his comeback when he fought Alex Stewart his face was all busted up but he didn't break, once he knew who he was. Teofimo Lopez has chosen to call himself 'The Takeover'. In a vacuum there is a literal brashness of youth to it. In cultural context he is referencing Jay Z and the New York 'can do anything' attitude. It seems that this is the way he decided to market himself, as though the city will automatically come along with him. It's not original and, like George Foreman, he is playing into a persona based on his environment. It hasn't originated internally from within him he has taken it externally from his surroundings. It's even to the point where he frequently talks in cliches, quotes by others and rap lyrics. He doesn't seem to know who HE is yet, and has followed a pattern of lashing out at others - much like the first version of Big George did (didn't he even punch his own trainer one time?)

Yet after the Kambosos fight it was Teofimo's own people that were booing him. After the Pedro Campa win Lopez's team celebrated a little too hard, whether it was for the camera or not. One of his NY idols Mike Tyson said that he was never the same after Cus D'Amato died because everybody would always only tell him how great he was. Whereas Cus, no matter how good Mike did something, would always find something to criticize pushing him to higher and higher levels. Iron Mike was receptive to it and there are great ones who criticise and analyze themselves in this way of their own accord. Few would dispute that Top Rank have the longest history of developing fighters in the game. If you don't develop with them then it's really on you.'King' Ryan Garcia has been anointed with that moniker by social media not through what he has done inside the ring. He became a celebrity before he has yet become a champion, whereas his recent opponent Tank is a champion who crossed over and became a celebrity because of what he did in the ring.

Few have the fighters' inside perspective that Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya have when it comes to progressing through a career. Correct me if I'm wrong but Bhop promoted himself for most of his career, while Ryan is almost literally a social media age De La Hoya minus the Olympic gold medal - so they know exactly how to move Ryan. But it would seem Ryan thinks he knows better when you see him refusing to take advice on who to fight and how to train. It's a little ironic that Tank has faced a lot of criticism along the way despite stepping up through the levels to now be at the top, whereas Ryan has been led to believe from fake social media reality that he's already at that level without taking those development fights and without putting the hard yards in under Canelo and Eddy Reynoso. This is something that played out in the fight between the two.

You were spot on when you said that Ryan is in love with his power and speed. He mistook Tank being patient for Tank not being able to do anything with him. In the second round he started to fight him like he fought Javier Fortuna and found out that Tank isn't Fortuna. Ryan either has too much hubris or isn't being honest about it. People do forget that it wasn't that long ago he was calling out Manny Pacquiao high off the hype he was fed when getting up off the floor to beat Luke Campbell. The truth was he wasn't hurt and shouldn't have been getting hit with that shot to begin with. But somehow it became a narrative that he showed true championship heart, and Ryan believed it. Now that we see De La Hoya mentioning Ryan and Pacquiao together for promotional reasons, Ryan comes out saying he doesn't want that fight...Jay Z became Jay Z, not by trying to be 'a' Biggie, or 'a' Pac, but by being Jay Z. By being what he is not by imitation. Teofimo seems to have reached out and grabbed a persona off the shelf and said I'll be that guy, brash, slick, fast-talking. In a way it's another Muhammad Ali tribute act that we've seen countless times before. It's not authentic the way it is with Keith Thurman for example. Ryan on the other hand seems to have let others impart onto him, both for positive in his talent and for negative in betrayal subterfuge mind games. It's not the same as young Moses Itauma refusing praise for quick knockouts and demanding to be stepped up.

Both Teo and Ryan are young and gifted. Both seem to think that they already are a Sugar Ray Leonard or a Manny Pacquiao based on their natural athletic talent. The truth is both have the PHYSICAL potential to be, but it is earned not given. Both have already met the situation where their talent alone couldn't carry them. The cold reality is that the monetary potential both have is what might prevent them from fulfilling on that potential. They have the gift and the curse of being able to obtain generational wealth based on how they can be marketed and sold. Often times the young think they are invincible and this is a little deep but when you have an ego you have to dare to be READY, before you can then dare to be great.

Foolish bravado is still foolish. Teofimo and Ryan are both clearly smart individuals, with Teofimo being a little more street-smart or wiser it's fair to say. It's evident they are also clearly good kids and it's easy to want to root for them. Neither is a man let alone their own man yet. They are smart enough to figure it out and find out who they are, the question is whether they will get to that point before their boxing career is over.

Bread’s Response: Your statement is profound. I’m picking Teofimo Lopez by upset but your statement has some credence. I won’t comment too much because I don’t want to change my pick but props to you on the breakdown.

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