The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as a rematch between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, veteran trainer SugarHill Steward, Crawford vs. Jaron Ennis, Carlos Adames, and more. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
I know you get a lot to read so I'll be short. -1 Trainers shouldn't have to run the table to be Trainer of the Year. Probably even harder to take a kid from pup to champion than it is to win a championship fight with a world class fighter. Also, super hard to take a fighter after a big loss and train them back to the top level. Writers have to open their mind up for these awards. -2 The general public should stop critiquing the corner's words in between rounds. Every corner is different. Some fighters probably don't even receive multiple instructions well in the heat of the moment. Perhaps that fighter is tired and complex instructions do him more harm vs. letting his mind relax get the rest of his body back to a manageable level.
All that to say your profession has their work cut out. Much respect to you.
Bread’s Response: 1…..I’ve done both and I don’t like to use the word HARD when I’m conscious of using it. But it’s not easy. The job is not easy in itself but I love it…..Or should I say I love the sport of boxing not the business of boxing. You’re correct a trainer shouldn’t have to run the table to win Trainer of the Year. The trainer simply has to have the best year in terms of PERFORMANCES with his guys. Everything has to be taken into CONTEXT. The betting odds. Winning or being competitive in fights where your fighter is a 10 to1 underdog is not the same as winning a fight where he is the `10 to 1 favorite. Taking and winning 50-50 fights vs prime fighters is also a good marker. There are so many things to consider.
Watching the trainer and observing if he really has an effect on the outcome. For example last year in 2022 I thought Derrick James or Dmitri Bivol’s trainer were the two best choices for Trainer of the Year. With all things being considered you couldn’t go wrong with either choice. This year so far for me it’s Bomac or Shingo Inoue but we still have 5 more months to go so let’s see how the year plays out.
2. I don’t like to micro critique. Everyone has their own lingo that they use. Some coaches practice things so much they feel like a few reminders is all they need. Some articulate more. I heard people criticizing Derrick because Errol asked him what round did he get stopped in and he said 8, 9 or 10th. Come on man! That’s looking for fault. But this is a tough business and with success comes great responsibility. As trainers we all want attribution for our work but we have to be prepared for the OTHER SIDE of WINNING.
Breadman, I might be in a very small minority here, but I personally wouldn't want to see Bud vs Boots. Crawford has more than done enough to move forward to jmw and try to unify, then either retire, or potentially go up to middle for a swan song there and sail off into the sunset. He has done enough to cement himself as a modern great without having to face a killer like Boots. Let Crawford see out his career as he chooses, and Boots can take his mantle when the time comes. A loss by either of them isn't needed and would only give credence to the haters out there.
Bread’s Response: It seems like you’re being conservative with other’s greatness. If Bud and Boots WANT to fight, let them fight. Boots is 26 years old. Just because fighters are being held back in this era from achieving greatness earlier that doesn’t mean they can’t. A 26 year old man is in his physical PRIME. Period.
His IQ and experience may or may not be, but physically he is. In every other era besides this one, 90% of the great fighters proved their greatness in their 20s. Leonard, Hearns, Duran, Benitez, Hagler, Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Oscar, Tito, Whitaker, Toney, RJ….This is the only era where fighters are in their mid 30s and we still don’t know what they are. It’s absurd!
Hi Bread, When I wrote to you a couple weeks ago with my breakdown of Spence-Crawford we both agreed that the early rounds would be critically important to the outcome of the fight. I believe one of the keys of the fight was Crawford being able to defend well enough to make it into the back half of the fight where he could land a fight changing punch. But man! Not only did Crawford come out with a tight defense, he came out sharper offensively than many expected, took advantage of Errol’s over aggression, and took the play away from Errol early. While many are calling the knockdown in the second round a flash knockdown” (a term I believe gets overused), it clearly was not a flash knock down. Errol has always been what I refer to as a “momentum fighter”, and that knockdown stunned Errol, disrupted his momentum, and took him out of the flow of the fight. From that point forward, intellectually he was confused on how to best approach the remainder of the fight. I want to give Crawford the high praise he deserves. Big fights are often about bold adjustments in strategy made before the fight (for example, SRL throwing flurries at the end of every round against Hagler).
Crawford knew he had to take away Spence’s jab, and in the postfight, mentioned that he knew the kind of jab he has been throwing through the would be insufficient to take away Spence’s best weapon. Therefore, he literally changed the way he threw the jab coming into the fight. Brilliance! After the first round Errol couldn’t even get started. Also the biggest knock on Crawford coming into the fight was that he often fought down to the level of his competition, and I wondered if he he could focus enough to implement a consistent strategy for all 12 rounds. What he offered up was one of the greatest “perfect fight” performances in the sports history. Leonard Vs Duran II, Floyd vs. Chico, Hopkins Vs Trinidad, Bud’s performance was up there! For both of his undisputed fights at both 140 and 147, Bud was supremely locked in. Both ring walks were electric, and he came prepared tactically on Saturday night, to fight the exact fight needed to overcome the challenge Spence presented. I was more of an Errol guy headed into the fight, but real recognize real!
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts!
Bread’s Response: 100%. I wondered how long it would take Crawford to get cooking. He was cooking from the 1st round. I also wondered about Errol snowballing, that’s what I call a fighter who comes forward and gains that momentum that allows him sort bludgeon fighters. Crawford never let himself get snowballed. And when Errol did try to mount an attack, Crawford was so smooth and poised. The 1st knockdown was more than a flash knockdown. It was a statement. Crawford let Errol know that he was dangerous. I respect Errol because he didn’t get GUNSHY because of Crawford’s power but there was no snowballing Terence Crawford on July 29th. Bud was in the ZONE.
Hey Bread, my question is after witnessing the destruction of Errol Spence at the hands of Crawford, what’s your assessment on Crawford vs Boots now? I still got Boots beating Crawford, although what a fascinating fight that would be!!, I think that’s the best fight that can be made in boxing right now skill-wise. I’d like for you to break it down, How it plays out ? Thanks for your mailbag every week, I look forward to reading it every Saturday morning.
Ray, San Diego
Bread’s Response: Crawford and Boots are very similar fighters if you’re being honest. Both are naturally right handed but switch often to southpaw. But have a smooth speed to them. Both process really fast. Both are mean. Both are athletic but within themselves. Boots is a little taller but I think their arm length is the same or close to it. I think Boots is a little more naturally flashy with his style but all in all, I think they’re similar. The question is, is Crawford at a master level right now? Because of his experience will he find a spot to clip Boots in between big shots. Or is Boots his equal or greater and he just hasn’t had a chance to prove it yet. It would be a phenomenal task for either fighter to pull out a win in this fight. If they fought I would sit alone even if I were in the arena because I wouldn’t want to miss one second of the epic display of skill.
Dillian Whyte has now failed three drug tests in his career. The latest one cost him a massive fight. Whyte is adamant he did nothing wrong. He may have a defense. UKAD did clear him of any wrongdoing in regards to his second failed drug test. We’ve also had other examples of drug tests being explained away in boxing. The argument always seems to be that unintentional contact led to the fighter being flagged for trace amounts. What do you make of Whyte’s situation? Do you believe he’s failing drug tests due to some type of incidental contact? Or is this a guy who’s trying to get a competitive edge and is getting caught? Thank you!
Bread’s Response: Unless Dillian Whyte has the worst luck out of any boxer that has ever lived, there is no way possible to fail 3 drug test and be innocent. Not 3!!!
I have many pet peeves in boxing but the big one is how we, the fan/customer, punish losses and don’t want to hear about it. I suppose it bothers me more than other sports because fighters and trainers are naked. A fighter can’t receive the benefit of the doubt because of teammates poor performance and a trainer can’t be excused like a head coach because the general manager didn’t give him the tools. Explanations are vital to understanding what we see as fans…but it seems every explanation gets shouted down as an excuse. I don’t understand the hysterical emotions of fans who seem increasingly uninterested in the truth and seeing the full picture.
It’s not rewriting history, it is the telling of history. It’s not an excuse for me to think Spence lost the gamble of cutting weight for the size/strength advantage, nor does it take anything from Bud’s brilliance and win. Both are big boys, they made the fight, and the result is the result. It’s not an excuse for me to think Fulton hitting the road is part of the tale vs Inoue, especially such a long road to Japan. They made the deal and Inoue faces a similar challenge coming to the US. It’s all part of the real story…not Kellerman’s BS story of the fight…and it does not change Bud and Inoue brilliant victories Sorry for the preamble, but sometimes my fellow fans annoy the sh..sorry..spit out of me. If Bud and Spence go again at 154 AND it turns out Spence is stronger there, can you foresee a different result or is this very much a styles make fights situation?
Bread’s Response: I agree there is a difference between explanations and excuses. We all have explanations to rational why we weren’t at our best. As for rematch I have many thoughts. My number 1 thought is Bud fought a perfect fight and it’s very hard to be perfect 2 fights in a row at their level. We saw Roberto Duran fight a perfect fight vs Ray Leonard in June of 1980. In the rematch 5 months later, he quit. Many say he didn’t train. I never bought that as the reason he quit. Leonard made an adjustment and Duran was so good in their 1st fight, he just couldn’t get to that level again. Even for him, it was hard.
It’s like asking Michael Jordan to score his career high of 69, in back to back games against the best team he’s ever faced. Leonard knew he could fight better and he also knew Duran couldn’t. Duran went on a 3 year slump after that fight in Montreal. Don’t tell me he didn’t train for 3 years.
Remember how good Tyson Fury was in the 2nd fight vs Wilder? Well he wasn’t that good in the 3rd fight. So believe it or not in terms of peaking out, I think Errol can be more competitive. I’m not saying or predicting anything to be clear. What I’m saying is by the law of averages Errol almost has to perform better than he did in their 1st fight.
The weight thing I won’t touch and here is why. Errol didn’t look filled out to me after the weigh in but he never really does from my observations. Also being a BIG forceful guy is what makes him Errol” The Truth” Spence. So often times fighters who impose themselves like Spence, don’t always do great moving up in weight because their built in advantages disappear. The advantage is being a bigger guy who can get down toa weight most guys their size couldn't and still be strong. So I just don’t know if moving up will matter.
We compliment Errol for his stamina and strength as a 147lber. Now the suggestion is to move up. The weight issues never showed up until he met Bud Crawford. So right now I don’t know about the weight. I suspect he will feel better that he doesn’t have to cut the extra 7lbs. But I still wonder about his physicality at 154.
I didn’t hear Max Kellerman’s take on either fight. You should’ve told me what he said so I can properly respond. I happen to think Max is very knowledgeable and he’s one of the few mainstream media members who is an actually an expert on boxing in my opinion.
I was leery about Fulton traveling to Japan and making weight and being strong. One of the things that any nutritionist will tell an athlete is put familiar food/fuel in your body just make sure it’s healthy. When traveling abroad it’s hard to get familiar food. I’m not making excuses for Fulton but it was something I thought about before the fight. I picked him anyway so I have to live with the pick.
Good day Mr Breadman.
This is Abongile Peterson from South Africa, a big fan of your mailbag for years now. I wish you, your family, and your fighters well in their, well, everything, literally everything. Anyway getting to the point. I'm not a boxer at any level nor have I been one before, and that goes for coaching or training fighters as well, but I believe I have a formula for Errol Spence to win the rematch against Bud. In fact I have been thinking about posting a video on youtube because I want Errol to watch the video, since I know he keeps up with the content on youtube and other platforms. In any case, I believe 5 things have to happen for Errol to not only win the rematch but to win it in dominant fashion.
1) The rematch has to be in December. Errol has been too inactive between fights, the result of which he has been him being sloppy and his timing being off especially in the first half of his fights. He was able to find his rhythm and timing in the second half of the Ugas fight but Bud didn't and aint gonna give him that chance to find his timing and rhythm because his speed, timing, punch placement, and power is just on another level. Errol needs to be firing on all cylinders from the get go.
2) Rematch has to be at 154lbs. Errol has just been at the weight way too long. Think about it Mr Breadman, this guy been a welterweight since he was a teenager.
What makes it worse is that the welterweight limit, if I'm not mistaken, is 152lbs in the amateurs, which means he had to cut to 147lbs to remain a welterweight when he turned pro. To be now 33 and still be at the same weight is flat out ridiculous. Look for example at young kids in their mid twenties like Tank, Teofimo, Haney, Shakur, and Ryan Garcia. They've all moved up one or two weight classes already, two for Shakur, and Haney is about to move up and fight Regis. Crawford himself was at his third weight class and says he wants to move up. The rematch simply has to be at 154lbs or I can't see Spence winning at ALL.
3) Bring back Blue Ray. I don't know if you know about their relationship or not, but most Errol fans, myself included, believe he was his strongest and sharpest when he was with Blue Ray as his strength and conditioning coach. Even just looking at his body and it was completely different under Blue. I dunno why they broke up but Errol needs to humble himself and bring him back. Bud looked to be in by far the best shape I personally have ever seen him, but Spence looked to me much less than he was against Ugas. I actually tried to tell my fellow Spence fans on youtube comments sections what I saw but my concerns were brushed off. He simply needs to bring Blue Ray back.
4)Sparring partners. The options I recommend are Demetrius Andrade and Jaron Ennis. Knowing you Mr Breadman, I bet you already know exactly why I recommend these two in particular. I believe if Spence can figure out and best Andrade in Sparring, he can figure out and best Bud. Andrade is a slick southpaw just like Bud, fast, intuitive and instinctive, crazy reflexes and fast hands, and throws punches from awkward and unorthodox angles that are unpredictable. Also Andrade has a longer reach than Spence just like Bud so for me it works out great. Another thing is Andrade is actually right handed just like Bud so his jab from the southpaw stance is his stronger hand. I don't think I need to explain the Jaron Ennis pick at all, especially to you Mr Breadman. I would like Spence to get both of them for sparring in preparation for Bud. I feel like Bud lived, ate, and breathed Errol Spence ever since the Avenesyan fight. He studied every single punch or move Spence ever made in his life and came prepared. But I don't think Spence did the same. I think Spence and James thought they would do to Bud what they did to everyone else and got the shock of their lives. Anyway, if for whatever reason Spence is unable to get these guys, then I would settle for Lara and Austin Trout. The work won't be as good as Ennis and Andrade in my opinion, but it would be way better than whatever he was doing for the first fight.
5) Bring in other trainers to help come up with a game plan. Derick and Spence need help. They need people who are going to make it their jobs for the next five or so months to study the first fight and every move and punch Bud has ever thrown and find things for Errol to exploit. They also need someone or people to help teach Spence a few new tricks to add to his arsenal. They don't have to change the fighter he is, just add a few things to make him better equipped to destroy Bud. Out of curiosity, I wonder if you would accept such an offer. You don't have to answer this of course, but I just wanted to let you know that you AND Mr Hunter would be my first choices. Anyway, I believe that if all of the above happen, Errol can not only win the rematch but win it by stoppage and brutal beating. It won't necessarily be one sided but I think he would dominate. If only some of the above things happen, well, I suppose my opinion would depend on which ones didn't happen. Still, I would be very confident in Errol getting his get back if all of the above happened.
What do you think Mr Breadman? Is there any merit to my formula or am I just talking casual boxing fan gibberish? Don't hold back, I won't take offense at all.
Bread’s Response: I like your enthusiasm for Spence. Ok let’s see….
1. Errol has only averaged 1 fight per year since he beat Kell Brook. So at this point the inactivity is what it is. I do think in skill sports you need repetition but when he was winning no one said he was inactive. In fact Bud has been inactive also but he did take a tune up before this fight. If you want the fight in December we have to see how Errol heals up. He took some nasty shots to the head and body. He looked to be in a dazed state and was concussed. I don't know his body but he may not be ready in Decemeber.
2. I think the rematch at 154 serves better for Errol. BUT I’m not 100% sure about it. Terence won’t have to cut weight either…..He may be stronger also. If he is, my goodness then what do we have.....
3. A boxing trainer that I work with actually told me the same thing about Blue Ray. He said Errol’s body doesn’t look right without Blue Ray. He picked Spence to win but he was concerned. Personally I can’t say either way because I don’t know the exact fights he worked with Blue Ray and the fights he didn’t. I would have to go back and watch those fights then give my opinion. What I can say is I felt Spence’s best performances were against Chris Algieri and Lamont Peterson. But he was also much younger so….
4. In an ideal world he would be able to spar with the guys you named. But you can’t be an IDEALIST in sports. I just don’t think it’s practical to get the guys you named. They’re all established professionals. They have their own schedules. They may not want to or have the time to be Errol’s sparring partner. As for Ennis, he wants to fight Errol. Why would he help him get ready for Crawford? I like your thinking but I don’t the sparring partners you named are realistic.
You don’t have to get exact matches in sparring. Terence used Shakur Stevenson. In the gym, I assume Stevenson can replicate Errol enough to serve his purpose. If Errol can get a couple of young, long armed Cuban amateurs he would be fine as far as sparring. Young fighters have sharp reflexes. Terence is quicker, so Errol needs to see that level of quickness in camp.
5. I’m a firm believer that a trainer’s instructions are meant to work. The fighter has to execute them. I’m not saying you’re wrong about bringing another trainer in. But that can be a paradox. The other trainer comes in but Derrick knows Errol best. So the whole time the other trainer is deferring to Derrick for certain things because again Derrick knows him the best. I’m not saying it can’t work. But Derrick would have to be on board and I feel like he should have influence over who is selected because he has to be able to work with the new trainer.
There is plenty of merit to what you said. But I think you’re an IDEALIST and I don’t believe that everything you said can get done.
What's good Bread?
B-Hop's destructive of Tito, MAB over Hamed, Pacman over MAB, Floyd over Hatton, and now Bud over Spence. Did we just see the greatest performance so far this century, when it comes to a 1 sided beat down in such a big fight??If Bud goes on to beat Spence in the rematch at 154, then wins another undisputed against Charlo, then beats Boots (at 147 or 154), where does that put him all time?I feel like this is very realistic for Bud, and would have to put him right there with Floyd, Manny and RJJ, as the top fighters of the past 30+ years?
Bread’s Response: I’ve always thought that Bud was a HOF and a great fighter. With being the #1 P4P, a 3 division champion, 2x lineal, 3x RING magazine, I believe he’s an ATG. I don’t want to say where yet because his career isn’t done. But I will say he’s among the best of the last 30 years.
Was it the Greatest performance of the 20th century? I don't know but it's up there. I would say top 5 off the top of my head.
Breadman I’m from Detroit and I follow the boxing scene closely out here. A couple of years back Julian Williams came out here to train with Sugar Hill. I heard you and him parted ways and we were happy that Kronk would be getting him. But I felt that no one could do what you did with him. We had some good amateurs in our area that were better than him. But he surpassed them by a mile as pros and that had to be because of you. In the Adames fight, I saw your passion for him after he was screwed over by the referee. To fight that hard for a kid, who you had a falling out with says a lot about how you felt about him. It was honorable because of where he’s at in his career. He’s much closer to the end than it is the beginning and you don't gain much for fighting for him. You should be proud of what you did with him because he was not projected to be a world champion. My question to you is how do you get an older fighter in that type of shape. Julian is known for his skill and sharpness but not his durability. He took some shots in that fight that dropped him in the past and never went down. I was shocked and I thought Adames was fading. I thought Williams had a shot down the stretch.
Bread’s Response: You just have to know their bodies and be consistent. It was the hardest I’ve ever trained a fighter and we needed every bit of it. Adames is a physical guy with a big punch. Often times we talk about over training. But we don’t talk about under recovery. For that fight, we trained our butt off but I focused on recovery so he could be fresh the next day back in the gym. For some reason Julian gets flacked for being dropped like a dozen times. But the truth is he's only been dropped by one fighter, Jermall Charlo. That's it. Sometimes when people repeat things, it gets passed off as the truth without research.
I feel the same way you feel about the fight. That was a fight we needed to weather the storm early and get him down the stretch. We were denied the chance to pull it out down the stretch. As Ron Katz would say.... Such is life.
Not all punchers are same. A puncher like Wilder is different from someone like Crawford and Joe Louis. Even though, they all have excellent KO ratio.As per you, how many types of punchers exist? I mean, can you categorize them?
Bread’s Response: I had this question before. I have 5 Categories of punchers.
Heavy Handed Debilitators- Alexis Arguello, Julio Cesar Chavez, Errol Spence
Speed Thudders: Joe Louis, Nigel Benn
Electric Slashers: Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Terence Crawford
Swordsmen: Sergey Kovalev, Tommy Hearns, Oscar De La Hoya
Bludgeon Crew: George Foreman, Sonny Liston
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