The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards tackling topics such as welterweight contender Jaron Ennis, Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo, Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford, insurance for boxers, and more.
Wassup Bread? I think a lot people are fooled by the perceived size difference between Canelo and Charlo. As you said in a previous mailbag Charlo is taller and has a longer reach. What people don't realize is how much weight fighters cut to fight in their desired weight class. Charlo probably walks around at about 180lbs. 168 would be more of a natural weight class for him do to nutrient and water retention. This matchup has me thinking Pac vs De La Hoya. I remember homies on the block and at the barber shop not giving Pac a chance and saying the fight was a clown show. Pac was in his prime and Oscar was on his way out. Now I'm not saying Canelo is on his way out, but he has shown signs of slippage. If Charlo can stay tight with his defense and be responsible on offense by not over committing and getting countered with something big I think the fight is winnable for him. Right now I think 60/40 Canelo but I don't think Charlo gets blown out by any stretch.
-Chris from Chicago
Bread’s Response: I agree 100%. Charlo is not over his head whatsoever. The size advantage for Canelo is not that big for me. The biggest advantage that I believe Canelo has is natural talent in terms of his natural reflexes and defense and flashy combinations. Canelo’s reflexes are better. You can hit Jermell cleaner than you can hit Canelo. But that’s not a size thing. In Jermell's favor, I think Jermell is more conditioned. I think he’s a better athlete. Being more athletic and being more talented are different by the way. I think Jermell’s legs are better. I don’t like to check off boxes when it comes to fights because a fight doesn’t work like that. But if we are checking off boxes. Jermell checks off as many as Canelo.
I think Jermell is possibly a HOF fighter. He doesn’t have many flaws but the one he does have is slightly concerning in this fight specifically. He loses about 50% of his rounds vs his better opponents. He usually scores a ko so it doesn’t come back to bite him but when he doesn’t score the ko then it’s a glaring reality. Against Harrison and Castano it bit him. He had a majority decision vs Trout. He lost about 6 rounds in a row vs John Jackson. He had a controversial decision vs Martirosyan. Jermell is a tremendous fighter but he can not lose 50% of the rounds vs Canelo. Canelo is the one fighter in boxing that the judges have given him the benefit of doubt in every single close fight he’s ever had. Think about that. Canelo also has an excellent chin, he’s never been down or stopped…..Other than that. …This is a very close fight in my opinion.
Last time I wrote in about Spence Vs. Crawford, I mentioned my belief that Spence was the boxer in the fight, and Crawford was the puncher. Watching tape and thinking about the fight the last couple of weeks I wanted to add another thought to my breakdown. To me the outcome of this fight is heavily dependent on what happens in the early rounds. Crawford’s power is kind of like a sniper, he waits and stalks mentally till he sees an opening and then he ends you with creative punches that you don’t see coming. And once that shot hits a guy, the fight is usually over. Errol on the other hand, has the gift of consistency. He throws the same volume of punches, one punch at a time, all with 75-80% power on them.
Over time he touches guys just enough that they start to break down. This to me is why a lot of opponents similar to Lamont gave up on boxing him and felt they had to fight since they were getting touched anyways. This fight comes down to the first 4-6 rounds. In the first 4-6 rounds can Errol touch Crawford enough times that when Crawford has to step on the gas and be special in the back half of the fight his tank is on “E”? And can Crawford defend well enough without losing rounds, to make Errol tactically come out of character, making room for a fight changing “sniper” shot down the stretch. To me this is why Derrick James says this fight comes down to focus. Can Errol focus and stay defensively responsible for 3 min of every round? And can Terrance focus in order to implement a consistent strategy for all 12 rounds? Also curious to see how you think the way both guys defend plays into the other ones offense. While Errol uses hand positioning to block and parry punches, this sometimes leaves his head on the line to take straight shots. And while Terrance has good head movement and athleticism, he’s more what we called in my neighborhood a “gumpy athlete” (a freak athlete who has awkward body movement), and with his head movement he often maneuvers himself way out of position .Let me know your thoughts!
Bread’s Response: I like your boxing eyes. I feel as though Spence is the boxer in this fight also. Even if he’s coming forward, I feel like he’s the boxer. This fight has a little Ray Leonard vs Tommy Hearns flair to me. Hearns was perceived as the bigger fighter and the puncher. But when they fought Leonard was the puncher and Hearns was the boxer. I feel the same way about this fight. For some reason, as good as Hearns punched Leonard was the more gifted puncher in terms of landing in exchanges and punching with Hearns.
There is another fight that I thought about. Hagler vs Duran. When Hagler was trying walk Duran down, Duran was running him into right hands. But when Hagler started feinting and jabbing he outworked Duran. I can’t help my gut feelings. But I feel like Errol is the boxer and Terence is the puncher when those two guys fight. I also agree on your breakdown of early success. But I will phrase it differently. Errol is definitely a consistent fighter. That does seem to be his gift. But he works really hard. Errol can’t be working at his max rate, while Terence is cruising and the fight is either even or Terence is winning. I feel like if that happens, Terence will just turn it up and if Errol is giving it all he has, then he’s in trouble.
I have never seen either guy get beat up to the body. I’m curious to see if either gets in good body work and how the other responds down the stretch.
Gumpy athlete. I’ve never heard that term before and I don’t think most athletes would take the word Gumpy as a compliment but I do see your point. Crawford while being smooth at times does have some awkward body movement. And you’re right he’s very athletic. Crawford reminds me of a kid who can just do “STUFF”.
He looks like if he was playing football he would be very good. If he was playing basketball he could hold his own. If he was playing ping pong he would be solid. If we were playing at the play ground, he would be among the best on the different apparatus. When we talk about the most gifted and athletic boxers in the world. We speak of Ennis, Shakur, Teofimo and Loma. But Crawford is right with them in his own way. His movements aren’t as conventional so you may overlook his talent and athleticism. But I’ve noticed it long ago. Bud is a tremendous all around athlete.
No fighter in is invincible or unhittable. Especially killer fighters. Bud and Errol are both killers. I don’t know what either will do with the other’s defensive tendencies. That will depend on how sharp their minds are working and how good they’re countering.
What's up Bread first off I wanna give you props for what you did with Jullian Williams a couple weeks back. Somebody has to make a public stance on the A side favoritism in our sport. It's unfair and unfortunate for the fighters, trainers, and their team. We have all seen high caliber fighters pull out a win in the final hour so to speak and J Rock is always game enough to so just that. Now on to why I'm writing in. I watched Boot's put on a masterful performance against Villa and although Villa was there to be hit Boot's even beat him at his own fight at times stranding in the pocket and trading with him. My question for you who was the last welterweight like Boot's? Power in both hands, speed, footwork, can fight equally as good in both stances. Solid chin defensively sound and near impossible to hit when he doesn't wanna be. I see a seriously close to 1 off fighter in that kid. He has more attributes than you can speak on in such a short time in this question. I've seen fighters throughout my life and even before my time that had alot of tools but is he the real total package or am I just exaggerating a bit as a fan starving for a fighter like him to come along?
As always thanks for the articles
Joe from Tennessee
Bread’s Response: I’ve said it several times. Jaron Ennis is a mix of Roy Jones Jr and Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson. In my lifetime I’ve seen welterweights who moved the needle. Welterweights who have had the total package. Some entered the division late in their careers. Some started out there. I don’t know if he’s the most talented but he’s among them. I will also say his package is unique. Leonard and Hearns are among the most talented and skilled fighters I’ve seen at 147lbs. Boots is right with them but we have to see how he applies it vs elite fighters.
During my lifetime, I’ve seen Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Wilfred Benitez, Donald Curry, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao all do unique things in terms of talent and the eyeball test in boxing’s most stacked historical division. I think Boots is right them all in terms of God Given ability. If you ask me who he’s like in terms of overall package. Out of the other welters, believe it or not he’s most like Bud Crawford. The meanness. The switching. The finishing ability. The ability to enjoy himself during a fight. I think Boots reminds me most of Bud, but here is the kicker. He’s bigger, faster and I think his reflexes are more freaky. Boots’s defensive moves are on Pernell Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather level. I’m not saying his overall defense is better than theirs. I’m talking about the moves he can do in real fights. This kid has special ability.
Greetings Breadman! I hope you and your family are healthy and well. A strong performance by a fighter who you have told us about for many years, Jaron Boots Ennis!! A lot of boxing fans overreacted as usual when he didn’t dominate his last fight against Chukhadzhian in January. We all know certain boxing styles make it difficult and Boots is still improving in all aspects of his game. I wonder with the Spence Jr-Crawford fight in 2 weeks & likely rematch that will occur afterwards, Ortiz’s Jr possible health/weight issues, who can Boots fight at 147 that can really challenge him?? I believe Thurman only brings a big name to the table, not as active as he can be. No matter what Canelo Alvarez does (Mayweather, Mosley, Bivol, Jacobs, Kovalev, Cotto, Lara, Plant, Trout, GGG (3x), I just don’t think he can win with 10-20% of the boxing fans. If Canelo doesn’t fight Bivol it means he is scared to lose again at 175.
If he doesn’t fight David Benavidez it’s because he might lose to a Mexican descent fighter & much younger fighter, even though Benavidez lost his opportunity twice to fight Canelo due to other reasons (Weight/Positive substance) which Benavidez has overcome and is better boxer/person today. Canelo is scheduled to fight Jermell Charlo in September, but if he wasn’t, then Canelo would be accused of avoiding black fighters as a few have mentioned. Sometimes in life when you try to make everyone happy, you end up not making anyone happy. I can’t think of too many boxers at the age of 22 that would take a big risk (4-1 underdog) like Canelo did to fight one of the best in Floyd Mayweather. With Canelo having options & will always be the A side, he is likely ending his career with great fighters in PBC like Jermell Charlo, Jermall Charlo, and possibly Errol Spence Jr or David Benavidez. In boxing, it’s rare for any fighter to have 2-3 competitive fights in a row, especially when they want to have a long career. You are a boxing historian and trainer. That is why I’m eager to get your thoughts about Boots who you are very familiar with & Canelo.
Thank you Breadman for your weekly mailbag and insights. You give us all a boxing perspective we can learn from and appreciate in a sport we love.
Kind regards, Eman
Bread’s Response: I think when you have an offensive machine like Boots. His handlers have to simply find the best available guy and keep Boots active. It’s not just the opponents it’s the spectacle of what he’s doing to them. Roy Jones, Mike Tyson, Shane Mosley pre-Vernon Forest, Oscar de La Hoya.. These fighters were showcased consistently on Premium Tv because they were so overwhelming offensively. They consistently scored exciting kos. The opponents are secondary to the spectacle of the event.
IF Thurman is willing to fight Boots then fine. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Thurman is a fine fighter but he’s 9 years older than Boots and he would be the underdog. For him to take that fight he’s most likely going to want to be paid handsomely. I’m not sure if they can afford what Thurman will ask for. Because Boots will need to get paid too.. But if they can’t get Thurman, they have to just get credible guys and keep Boots in front of our eyes. The BIG fight will come when it comes.
I personally believe that Canelo has an excellent resume. People criticize the catchweights and favoritism but he’s a star. Stars get star treatment. Canelo has fought some excellent black fighters. Floyd Mayweather, Danny Jacobs, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, James Kirkland and Shane Mosley. Everyone won’t be in their absolute prime but he’s taken some smoke. The critique that he won’t fight black fighters is just not accurate. Canelo didn’t fight Demetrius Andrade specifically. He wouldn’t fight that specific black fighter. But he has fought black fighters. Big difference.
Canelo has also avoided Benavidez. It’s not worth arguing over. It’s just the truth. He could’ve fought him and he chose not to. I don’t get into why. I go to the bottomline. Canelo doesn’t want to fight David Benavidez at this time. It’s obvious. But again that’s just two fighters. Canelo is a GUN and he’s taken some serious smoke. He’s 33 right now and David is just not who he wants to fight. I’m not giving him a pass. I’m just stating what it is.
Canelo is a HOF and he’s been around forever. So at this point he’s taking an OG stance. He’s pulling rank. We have to live with it. I view Canelo as a tremendous fighter who has sought out tough competition. Taking that Lara fight in 2014 after Floyd outboxed him in 2013 was ballsy.
There are only three real criticisms of Canelo. He waited GGG out. I didn’t like that but he did fight him 3x so…I can’t complain too much.
He fought for his 1st world title at a catchweight vs Matthew Hatton who hadn’t done anything at 154lbs. That was out right favoritism. Hatton was a career welterweight. Canelo at the time had a few fights in a row at 150lbs. He was still trying to make 147. So to get him his first title they allowed him to fight a welterweight for a junior middleweight title at a catchweight. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before. I’ve seen stars get some good treatment but never that much good treatment for their first title try. That was pushing it. But Canelo turned out to be a great fighter so it’s not talked about much these days. …
The only other thing that could be said about Canelo is his positive drug test. I don’t want to get into it but there is a legit criticism for him a positive drug test , during camp for a rematch of a fight many thought you lost vs GGG…No fighter is above criticism. But, Overall I think we are watching a great fighter in Canelo who deserves credit for his quality of opposition although he has avoided a couple of fighters. He’s fought enough quality guys where we can’t take credit away from his career achievements because of a few misses. Sometimes both ends of the spectrum can be TRUE.
I never knew you trained Shawn Porter. That’s a serious piece to your resume and you never mention it. Porter speaks highly of you on his podcast whenever your name comes up. Are there any other fighters you worked with under the radar?
Bread’s Response: I worked with Shawn for 3 fights. He’s a great kid and a hard worker. I don’t mention it because I don’t get asked about it. If someone asked me, I would mention it. I also don’t like trying to beef my resume up. Often times you hear about how many world champions a trainer has worked with. But that stat can be misleading because working with a champion and being the lead trainer in his corner on the NIGHT he won his world title is not the same. So I want to EARN any praise I get.
Hey Bread, I’m happy the Charlo Canelo fight is happening and don’t understand the backlash, at the end of the day I’ll take undisputed v undisputed any day. I don’t believe the weight is a problem, but i do believe the lay off will ultimately effect Charlo, still expecting a super competitive fight and I believe the result will be the same regardless of weight, lay offs etc, Canelo by close decision. I’m a bit disappointed we missed out on Charlo Tszyu, for me that fight was edging more towards 50/50 as time went on. Now that it looks like Charlo may have to vacate some titles, who do see ‘taking over’ at 154 Tszyu, Madrimov, Conwell? I’m also happy to see Sunny Edwards v Bam Rodriguez has been made official, expecting a straight forward boxing masterclass from Sunny, hopefully the judges don’t mess it up, thoughts?
Bread’s Response: I don’t get why people are upset at Canelo vs Charlo. Charlo is live in this fight. There isn’t much size difference. Jermell Charlo has been fighting once a year for a while now. He’s one of the few fighters I haven’t seen get rusty. Now maybe he would be better if he fought more but I haven’t really seen him rusty. Let’s see what happens.
I think Charlo is going to be super motivated to beat Canelo. This is shot at the HOF. I don’t expect to see a rusty fighter. Right now I think Tim Tszyu is the top dog among the young guys at 154 but let’s see how it plays out. Madrimov and Conwell are also excellent. As is Jesus Ramos. And let’s not forget about Jaron Ennis who will move up soon enough.
I haven’t seen enough of Sunny Edwards to say if he beats Bam Rodriguez. But I can say I love his last name. Bam looked like a P4P guy after his victories over SSR and Cuadras but he’s sort of come back down to earth. This is a big fight with historical significance. I’m going to study Edwards when I get some time.
You’ve been praising Boots for longer than anyone with your platform. This ability to see a fighter before he hits the mainstream and say what he’s going to be, is a true gift. From what I read you also stamped Stephen Fulton and pushed for him to get signed. And obviously Julian Williams and Kyrone Davis. That’s some great calls by a relatively young guy in this game. That’s three world champions you called super early. And if Kyrone Davis had Xander Zayas or Vito Mielnicki’s matchmaking you he would be four for four. Very impressive. What do you want to do after your training days are over? Are there any other young prospects who you’re willing to call right now?
Bread’s Response: Thank you brother. I have made some good calls. But I can miss some too. I was very high on Anselmo Moreno. I thought he had that loose rhythm and defensive radar similar to Pernell Whitaker. Moreno had an excellent career but I thought he could have a Chocolatito level impact at the lower weights. I was also very high on Francisco Bojado and I got that one wrong by a mile. But overall it’s easier for me to assess and project talent than it is to predict fights and I’m pretty good at predicting fights.
I was able to call Ennis, Futlon and Williams because I saw them in the gym consistently. So I had the inside track on their potential. Right now there is a kid named Romuel “Cuco” Cruz that I train. He has a maturity about himself and a work ethic that I can trust. I can trust him to do the right thing when I’m not looking. With the right matchmaking and fair opportunities I believe Cruz can be a world champion. I have another 4-0 middleweight who is also a grinder but it’s early so I won’t mention his name just yet and add pressure but he’s on course.
I think Trayvon Marshall and Jalil Hackett are both very good. I’m not going to stamp them yet because I don’t see them often enough in the gym. But I know they have good teams around them and they have excellent work ethics. So right now let’s say they are young guys I’m keeping my eye on in terms of potential champions. I saw a young Dominican kid Euri Cedeno who has some serious electricity in his punches. He has nice size for the weight. Fast hands and a mean streak but again I can’t stamp him yet. I need to see more and I need to see if he has durability. But from what I’ve seen so far, I expect him to score a bunch of highlight reel kos.
Now there was one more kid who caught my eye. I’ve never met him in person. I haven’t even been in the gym with him but I saw couple of his fights and I was impressed. He has great reflexes and excellent punch release. I don’t even know what weight he fights at, I’m going to guess 130-140lbs. But his name is Ashton Sylve. I hope I spelled that right. I’m not stamping any of the young guys I just named. But I’m putting them on my watch list. Let me start studying them a little bit more before I make it official.
I want to train a few more world champions before I stop training. But after that there are many things I want to do in the game. I would love to be a talent scout for a big company. I would love to do some media work. Let’s see what happens.
Hey bread, not necessarily one for the mailbag but include it if you want. I've seen you tweet a couple of times about insurance for boxers. You can get event cancellation insurance but that would be more for the promoters to cover the loss from the event. From what I understand you are talking about the costs of training camp and maybe the purse? I work in the insurance world and know a lot of other people who do as well, so I am wondering if it is a feasible product. What would the insurance budget be, what would it cover, what are the costs of what it would cover, and when would it pay out?
Bread’s Response: Great Question. The insurance budget should be the CAMP EXPENSES. Camp expenses are the biggest expense to a fighter. It consist of hiring sparring partners. Renting out gym space. Food. Recovery. Equipment. For a world class fight, I can budget and get it done for under 10k. But I’ve seen it cost over 50k. When a fight gets cancelled all of those expenses turn into a LOSS. So anytime a fighter absorbs these expenses and a fight doesn’t come off and it’s not his fault, I think the fighter should be reimbursed…..If the fighter didn’t pull out of the fight or test positive for a PED, then he shouldn’t have to take a 50k loss. No one gets paid if they don’t fight but he should at least break even for camp cost.
Hi Bread, hope all is good with you & yours. Sorry about the J-Rock stuff, that must've hurt. Anyway, I'd like to ask your thoughts on sporting intelligence. I must admit to asking because of the most incredible absence of intelligence on the part of a guy called Zak Crawley, plays cricket for England, has skills to die for, repeatedly falls into traps. 'Great shot Zak, another great shot, now you're out'. Amir Khan was like boxing's Zak Crawley, skills to die for but a total absence of intelligence. Intelligence came up crucially when Tank fought Ryan. Ryan actually said he started to engage more because he was losing patience. One of the signs of intelligence is concentration. Tank could keep a laser focus for round after round & Ryan just couldn't. Another sign of intelligence is being able to plan ahead. Lennox Lewis loved chess & said it helped him develop this but, in fairness, Tank, James Toney, Mike McCallum & Roberto Duran, among others, also had that ability to think several moves forward & IDK if they ever played chess. So, Bread, who are the most & least intelligent guys at the top today &, of all time? Also, you always say everything, including power, can be improved, but surely you can't improve intelligence? Tank has got it, Ryan hasn't. Or am I missing something?
Bread’s Response: I agree with ALMOST everything you said. Except intelligence can't be improved. Of course it can be improved. Would you believe someone if they told you, you had to be natural at something or else it couldn’t improve. Think about that. What about students who didn’t do well in Algebra. They get a tutor and applied a new way of learning and they improved. Are you telling me they didn’t become more intelligent?
Of course "in the ring intelligence" can be improved. It just depends on the fighter. Some fighters make the same mistakes over and over. They can’t help it. Some guys figure out what they did wrong and they never make the those mistakes again.
I’m not familiar with Zak Crawley but I am familiar with Amir Khan. Being a Khan fan I just couldn’t understand why he made the mistakes he did. It used to make me cringe because I watched him wanting him to win. Then when I had a chance to be around him, I observed that everything he does is fast. He talks fast. He’s always moving around. He’s just a ball of energy and he can’t take his time. So like anything else in life if you don’t take your time you make mistakes.
You ever rush out of the house going to the airport. You’re almost guaranteed to forget something. Khan reminds me of a person who’s always rushing. That’s why he always makes mistakes.
Ryan Garcia is similar to Khan. He has a racy personality. When I heard that Ryan lost patience vs Tank I was very disappointed because it was the only the 2nd round. So focus, concentration and applying patience is all part of intelligence.
I will go deeper. IQ and EQ are not exactly the same. IQ is your ability to solve problems and think logically. Obviously Ryan wasn’t thinking logically because attacking Tank that early and recklessly is asking for trouble. EQ measures your ability to understand and manage emotions. That can even be more important than IQ. Ryan didn’t do a good job of managing his emotions in that fight. But that doesn’t mean he’s doomed. That doesn’t mean he can’t get better at it. I know people who couldn’t publicly speak but after training they were well adapt at it. They learned how to manage their emotions.
Derrick James has a very laid back but intellectual type of personality. Errol Spence is also very laid back but intelligent. I think Ryan being around them will help him manage emotions. And his in ring IQ will get better by just being around excellent fighters. It can be improved but it’s up to Ryan to allow Derrick to work and get him better.
In your last mailbag I saw your comments about Canelo not willing to fight Benavidez. Timothy Bradley said something similar and predicted he will fight both Charlo's and then Errol Spence thereby avoiding Benavidez. It's pretty sad that you think this way (and Tim) because Canelo has always given us the fights that we wanted and more, ie. dangerous fights such as Trout, Erislandy Lara, GGGx2, Danny Jacobs, BJS, etc, and you sort of imply he's 'scared' to fight him.I'm pretty sure he will fight Benavidez as part of the pbc 3-fight deal, and then if he wins all 3 fights, Charlo-Charlo-Benavidez, he will probably challenge Bivol or potentially Beterbiev at 175 which is more dangerous than Benavidez. Imagine that run and if he also wins vs. Beterbiev. How would you rate him p4p and historically?
Bread’s Response: Canelo’s fans are just obsessive. No matter how many compliments he gets you yearn for me. Why is it sad that I think he’s not interested in fighting Benavidez when Benavidez is marketable, undefeated, has an exciting style, ranked #1 by the WBC and he still hasn’t fought Canelo yet.
I never said he was “SCARED”. I just said he doesn’t seem interested in fighting David Benavidez. Benavidez has been a player at 168 since 2017. Yes he’s had some issues outside of the ring, but so has Billy Joe Saunders and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. They both got the Canelo fights.
I’m not attacking Canelo one bit. I think he’s an ATG fighter and a HOF. But for whatever reasons there have been 2 fighters in his weight classes over the years that he hasn’t been eager to fight. And those 2 fighters are Demetrius Andrade and David Benavidez. I don’t think either miss will effect Canelo’s legacy too much because he’s fought enough fighters who were ranked higher and were as good as those two. Nevertheless those are the two guys that he’s decided he didn’t want to fight. Let’s see how the rest of his career plays out.
I don’t know how you can be pretty sure he will fight Benavidez. We don’t know what he’s willing to do. We don’t know how the Charlo fight plays out. It’s too much room between the cup and the lip to be pretty sure he’s going to fight Benavidez. Let’s just wait and see and stop being sensitive over a fact. Canelo hasn’t fought David yet. That’s a fact, not an opinion.
If you had to pick a potential upset candidate from the remaining fights on the schedule, it’s Oleksander Usyk-Daniel Dubois, right? From what I’ve read, Oleksander Usyk is an 18-1 betting favorite over Daniel Dubois. I think that’s insane. Despite Dubois’ struggles and Usyk’s rise to the top, this is still a 25-year-old natural heavyweight against a 36-year-old former cruiserweight. I get Usyk is great and I expect him to win. But 18-1 is way too high and setting this fight up to be a major upset. If you don’t see Usyk-Dubois as a potential upset, is there another fight on the calendar that jumps out to you?
Bread’s Response: Usyk has had some off nights. I saw him struggle vs Dereck Chisora, Chaz Witherspoon, Michael Hunter and Maris Briedis. So Dubois can cause him trouble. The issue is Usyk is a MONEY fighter. He does whatever he needs to do to cross that finish line first. Until I see otherwise it’s hard for me to bet against him. I also haven’t seen much of Dubois since his loss to Joe Joyce. So I’m not sure how he’s operating at the moment..
I don’t care about who’s supposedly natural for the size. Usyk is a natural winner and a natural 220lbs man. That’s all you need when you have what he has.
Other upsets……I can see Stephen Fulton pulling an upset. I can see Jermell Charlo pulling another. Let me check the rest of the summer schedule to see if there are anymore.
Bread, You nailed it when you tweeted after the 7th or 8th round that Villa's team better be careful here because Boots is "sadistic" in the ring and is he ever! That was just a great performance from the opening bell against a determined, in prime and stubborn fighter. What I want to touch on is Boots defense and his inside fighting. One criticism Boots gets for some reason is that he gets hit every fight and his defense is not strong. I don't think that could be further from the truth. He fights in a style where he will get touched some and it is impossible not to get hit if you fight in that type of style. But look at the first two rounds where he was mainly working off the jab and moving around. Boots got hit a total of 3-4 times, that's it! Floyd is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest defensive fighters of all time but I would encourage people to go watch his fights with Chavez and Corley and see how much he got hit fighting on the inside. It happens, it's boxing!
But you can't just tell Ennis not to fight on the inside as he is becoming a master in the way he is able to use angles, leverage and counter. I know I am getting ahead of myself and you will probably disagree, but the way he blocks and rolls with shots before countering his own reminds me a bit of Roberto Duran. If you take that away from Boots game, then he can still be a very good fighter but a good part of his greatness gets taken away and that's going to make him more beatable. Also, can we stop by saying he needs more fights before he is ready for Spence or Crawford? He's 25 years old and lives in the gym with better physical attributes than both Spence and Crawford. He is MORE than ready. Greg Hackett, who I'm sure you are very familiar with said it is extremely difficult to beat someone who loves the game as much as Boots and has the God given ability. Scary combination and every potential opponent is well aware of that! Take care.
Bread’s Response: Greg Hackett is CORRECT! Boots Ennis has three things going for him. God Given talent which is what it is. He’s among the most talented fighters of the last decade. He also loves boxing. Every single time I go to his gym for sparring, he’s in there no matter if he has a fight or not. I don’t think he looks at boxing as work as some do. He’s enthusiastic about working out and doing his gym grind. Obviously things change. But until they do he’s going to be tough to beat.
Now, Let me tell you something about Boots supposed lack of defense. It’s nit picking. It’s like when you bring a new woman around your friends or family. She’s a 10 but one of your boys or cousins points out that one of her teeth are little bit crooked. It’s only because they have to say something.
Boots’s reflexes are as good as I’ve seen live. If he wasn’t a killer he wouldn’t get touched. But there has never been a fighter as offensively talented as him that didn’t get touched. Ray Leonard and Ray Robinson are ATGs of the highest level but Pernell Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather are considered better defensive fighters than them. The reason being is because Robinson and Leonard are more engaged to punish and go for kos. They are offensive minded first. Where as Whitaker and Mayweather are defensive minded and they think defense first. All it is, is a matter of priority and style. In order put a certain level of hurt on fighters you have to put yourself in harms way. James Toney is a great defensive fighter but he’s not untouchable because he engages to hurt you. Toney took his share of punches. Not because of lack of defense but because of his mindset.
If you watch Boots close he’s extremely hard to hit when he’s “boxing” . When he does get hit it’s only with SINGLE shots. Rarely combinations. He doesn’t get busted up. He doesn’t lose rounds. He doesn’t get knocked down. He gets hit with single shots by world class fighters who are fighting back as he’s trying to ko them.
Always assess defense in context with style. Julio Cesar Chavez and Roberto Duran had great defense. But they were attacking fighters. So I’m not going to equate their defense with a fighter who is moving away all night throwing 40/punches/round. I’m going to put their defense next to fighters of similar style like say Mike Tyson and Jeff Fenech.
If you put Boots’s defense next to Leonard, Robinson, Mosely, Oscar, Sal Sanchez etc. Boxer punchers who were violent and sought after kos. His defense is superb. Boots has every layer of defense. He can box and play keep away with his feet. He can engage and stalk. He can catch and counter. He can play the ropes. And he has EYES. That rubber neck move he has is only for elite special talents. You need eyes to pull that move off. I’ve only seen 3 fighters who can do that move as good as Boots. Canelo Alvarez, Roberto Duran and Michael Carbajal. That’s it!!!! And Boots is so talented and he can do that move turning on a right hand and turning on a left hand. Most fighters can do it one way.
The people who nitpick Boots so called lack of defense are either misguided or purposely trying to find a fault in this talented fighter. His defense is excellent, don’t believe the critics. Ask Ennis's opponents about his defense. I've seen him spar at least 100 times and I've never heard anyone say he's easy to hit or set up. ...
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