The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackles topics such as Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford, Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk, Sugar Ray Robinson, Alycia Baumgardner, and more.
Hi Bread, hope all is good with you. My Question is about the upcoming Spence Jr v Crawford fight. How much do you look into how these guys beat their common opponents? They both fought Kell Brook and Shawn Porter, Porter always brings his best to his opponents, but I think people are dismissing how Crawford beat Kell Brook. I think Brook was in great shape for that fight and was sharp. Do you agree with that? Also I believe the weight cut is much tougher for Spence Jr than Crawford and this has to give Crawford a few more percentage points in my opinion. In a fight that is generally considered a 50/50 fight this will make a difference.
Bread’s Response: Beating common opponents is a factor but it’s more of a thing when fighters are being compared that don’t or haven't fought each other.
I haven’t indulged because the people who want Terence to win will say he beat Brook and Porter more conclusively. The people who want Errol to win will say, Errol beat them first. I think Errol and Terence have fought about the same level of competition. Errol just did his thing in one weight class, while Terence's accomplishments are spread out over 3.
I don’t see a huge separation. I believe Errol would have beaten everyone Terence beat and vice versa. I thought Brook was in excellent shape when he fought Crawford. I thought he was sharp and motivated. But Brook was dismissed as being shot but I didn’t see that. However, the fight only lasted 4 rounds so…
I can remember when Hagler vs Hearns happened. Hearns fans died on the Duran hill. They said Hearns handled Duran much better. Hagler’s fans said that Hagler took a lot out of Duran. I was young but I kept quiet. Hagler is a hard steady well rounded fighter, Hearns is a dynamic puncher who had a huge size advantage over Duran. Needless to say Hagler won despite being outperformed vs Duran.
I wasn’t alive for this one but Foreman outperformed Ali vs Norton and Frazier by a mile. But he didn’t outperform Ali when they fought.
For 7 years Mayweather and Pacquiao fans argued. Mayweather’s fans said Floyd beat Marquez easier. Pacquiao’s fans said he beat Oscar, Hatton and Cotto easier. Mayweather’s fans said, well he fought Oscar and Hatton after Floyd. Pacquiao’s fans said Manny fought Cotto and Marquez first. It went on and on.
What I will say is it can go either way in terms of common opponents. Errol and Terence fight different so it’s hard to compare. I find this more relevant if I’m picking an award or a status. If 2 fighters are nominated for FOY and they fought the same opponent then I will consider who beat them more impressively. Same as Fighter of the Decade etc. But when two guys are fighting each other, it’s a little different. Both guys won their fights vs common opponents how they usually win. Errol grinded out hard tough fights. And Terence landed sharp, piercing shots and scored stoppages after having a slow start…They have to decide who is better IN the ring.
Hello Mr. Breadman Sir!
I am reading a book (Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told) which covers Sugar Ray Robinson. From his own lips it relays the following about the great man. 1) He was past his peak after 1950, 2) He never enjoyed hurting people, only “out-maneuvering” them, 3) He lost the Maxim fight (via heat exhaustion) partly because he was winning so easy he wasted energy by needlessly dancing around for show. Your thoughts on all of this? Also, Tyson Fury- is criticism for him fighting Ngannou fair? In context that his last fight was Chisora, and between Wilder and Whyte he has fought very unrated opponents since Wlad Klitschko, are fans right to think he is ducking Usyk? Finally, Pacquaio vs Aaron Pryor, Wlad Klitschko vs Jack Johnson, Carl Froch vs Gerald McLellan. As always, thank you for educating us through your mail bags.
Bread’s Response: 1) Yes I agree. Robinson had 3 careers. One from 1940-50. Another the most famous from 1950-60. Then his farewell tour from 1960-65. By 1950 Robinson had over 100 fights vs about 40 killers in 6 oz horse hair gloves. Without modern recovery most fighters are past it after 100 fights at about 30 years old.
It’s a myth that there is NO footage of Robinson in his 20s. It’s just not high quality and extensive but it does exist. I’ve seen it. He looked phenomenal.
2)He told my grandfather that he didn’t enjoy hurting people. The exact term that was told to me, is that he would allow certain guys go the distance as long as they didn’t get “TOO FRESH”, and if they got too fresh he put them in their place, like he did George “Sugar” Costner who stole his nickname. he kod Costner in the 1st round, twice!!
3) Robinson did over move vs Maxim but I don’t think it was just the showboating. I think it was because of Maxim’s physicality. There was a huge size difference if you look at the fight.
I don’t know if Fury is ducking Usyk. But what I do know is that no other heavyweight champion in history has ever taken the type of fight that Fury just did, with such a quality opponent as Usyk available. I think Fury is a HOF and a legitimate great fighter. But if he ruins two title reigns, history will never forgive him. He has a chance to make things right after what happened after he beat Klitschko. …
Hey Breadman, 1. I'm not sure if you've mentioned this already but what do you think of Inoue-Fulton playing out like Aaron Pryor-Alexis Arguello? I think Fulton and Pryor share similarities in their conditioning and high-volume combination punching, though Fulton probably isn't the offensive force that Pryor was. While Inoue is more explosive and athletic than Arguello, I think he is an equally great and fundamentally sound puncher with terrific balance and timing. Do you think there are any opponents similar in style to Fulton and vice versa for Inoue? The closest I can see is Omar Narvaez. 2. Is it fair to say that Fury is avoiding Usyk at this point? The Ngannou fight would have been there no matter what. I understand Usyk is fighting a Dubois who hasn't earned a title shot but that fight is only happening because Fury tanked negotiations with Usyk. Which of the two do you think would benefit more from the fight being dragged out another year or two? They aren't too far apart in age but because of Usyk's style, I think he would be most affected. 3. Alycia Baumgartner continues to impress. What do you think her ceiling is? Do you think she can be a perennial top 3-5 p4p in women's boxing?
Bread’s Response: I see Fulton vs Inoue as more of a case of Hopkins vs Trinidad. Or possibly Sanchez vs Gomez. Where the smaller fighter is the bigger puncher and favorite vs the bigger more well rounded fighter.
I don’t know what Fury is doing. He doesn’t seem to be the type of man that fears anything or anybody. But not making the fight with Usyk, a fighter who is known to make fights and not avoid anyone is not a good look.
Baumgardner is the truth. I think her ceiling is very high. I can see her winning more titles at lightweight and one day being the considered the #1 P4P women’s boxer in the world. She has improved drastically since I first saw her. But I still feel she has room to improve. I don’t believe she’s peaked out yet. I think her stamina and endurance can actually improve. For as good as she is, I can see after the adrenaline of the first few rounds wear off, she gets a little bit fatigued during the middle rounds. If she improves that and gets a little more consistent with her attack during those middle rounds, she may not ever lose. That’s how good she is.
I've heard people use a certain expression for people who have a case for being the GOAT in their given sport: "They're in the room for GOAT talks". I like that. I've used that a few times myself since. But I was bouncing some debates off my Dad and I dropped that line on a couple players in baseball. He thought they were in their just under GOAT and he used his own version of that line: "They're not in the room for GOAT talks, but they're for sure in the building". I like that too. You've done a top ten GOAT list a few years back (when COVID reared its ugly head) and I thought each guy you listed was for sure "in the room". Who are some of the guys under that? Who do you think are guys "not in the room but in the building?"
Bread’s Response: Hmmm…In basketball Dr. J and Charles Barkley. Being a Philly sports fan both are in the building with a bed.
Bernard Hopkins and Joe Frazier. No one ever says they are the GOAT. But again both are ATGs firmly in the building.
Football John Elway and Earl Campbell. People forget how good Campbell was. My goodness.
Baseball Stan the Man Musial!!
What’s up Bread,
Hope all is well with you and your family! Wanted to gain your insights and perspective on something I rarely here talked about. Fighter’s who retire from the sport seem to typically go into the following categories: fledgling promoter, color commentary or trainer. Rarely have I seen or heard fighters going into certain administrative aspect of the sports by diving into: state commissions, refereeing, production of boxing content (i.e., like a Lou Dibella in tbe 2000’s), journalism, etc. I would think having more fighter influence on at the administrative level could lead to REAL influential change. When you look at NBA/NFL/MLB, etc. there are quite a few success stories of retired players working their way as President of Players Union, lead role on various sport committees, GM’s or other front office roles, etc. Any thoughts or perspective on why we don’t see this enough from fighters post-retirement?
Bread’s Response: Great Question. I think this is the reason why there is no union in boxing. In my opinion there are two reasons why fighters don’t go into the administrative side of sports. One is, fighters aren’t usually educated past high school. There is a large number of fighters who don’t have high school diplomas and the ones that do only went to school to do the bare minimum. You don’t need good grades to box. Boxers don’t receive college scholarships anymore. So therefore the dynamics of boxing does not require fighters to be good students. So after they box they don’t have the desire to do anything administrative.
The other reason is, fighters aren’t wired like that for the most part. It’s why they have people on their teams who take care of administrative things. Most fighters won’t admit this but they have attention deficit issues. So it’s mentally taxing for them to handle flight information, fly sparring partners in, being detailed in their business etc. So we will most likely never see an abundance of fighters who leave boxing and do administrative work in boxing. It’s just how it is.
It is less than 10 days away and I cannot recall feeling less buzz for a super fight of this magnitude with Spence v Crawford. Do you get the sense that this will be a potential flop with the pay-per-view numbers or will people still go to the event live and buy it ?If you had to pick someone to score a knockout victory who would you choose Spence or Crawford and why? Also, does one corner have an advantage over the other? Out of respect I would not expect you to name which corner that is, but do you feel like one has an edge? Finally, do all of your fighters have to conquer sure kill?
Take care, Aaron from Cleveland
Bread’s Response: I think the buzz for Spence vs Crawford is huge. I love it. Everybody I talk to ask me who am I picking. Literally everyone.
No I don’t think it will flop. I think it does 1M buys at least.
I do NOT have an official pick. I probably won’t be making one. If I had to pick someone to win by points gun to my head, it would be Errol Spence. If I had to pick someone to win by ko, gun to my head it would be Terence Crawford.
I think both corners are excellent. They have chemistry and they know their guy. Derrick James seems to do his thing alone, whereas Crawford’s coaches work as a unit but both corners ended up in the same place with their fighters. So as of now I don’t see an edge on either side. Let’s see how the fight plays out. And not just the winner and loser. But who fights a good fight. If you know what you’re looking at, you can see corner influence with a performance.
I know you will get a ton of breakdowns of the Spence/Crawford fight next week so I wanted to get mine off this week. I've been thinking long and hard about this fight and have been paying attention to the words of both fighters and trainers to see if I can get a sense of what the game plans will be. James mentioned that Crawford is a better athlete than boxer and Spence said he is not just working on keeping his chin down and his hands up so he can be technically sharp and focus for the entire fight. What that tells me is that they feel pretty confident they can win from the outside in spots and even out box Crawford.
I went back and reviewed at least 10 Crawford fights the last few weeks and I did notice you CAN out box him, especially in the first half of the fight. He is not in the same mold as Floyd Mayweather or Pernell Whitaker. His best gift is his athleticism and his fighter instincts. But go back and watch the Gamboa, Mean Machine, Dulorme, Brook and Porter fights and you will see those fighters all took rounds off of Crawford from just countering and boxing from the outside. Spence has a great jab and he does keep his hands up but there are times he can be caught with his chin up after he throws so I'm thinking he wants to make sure his chin is down when he throws, especially in exchanges on the inside.Another thing I noticed after I heard your comment about Crawford's trunks being high is that he gets off balance and has off reactions from getting hit to the body. I don't know if it was just the few times I saw but like he takes a hop back. But then again, I've seen Spence have some off reactions to getting touched to the body the last few fights as well. A big key in this fight is going to be who can be more successful going to the body and which fighter is able to take those body shots.
When Crawford is able to turn it up, he is usually walking his opponent down and landing those hard, looping shots that his opponents don't see. That is actually the punches to try to land on someone with a high guard. WInky Wright would be able to block a lot of the straight shots and catch them but the times his opponents had success was when they were able to go around his guard. Dirrell did a great job of this against Abraham in the Super Six as well. But a fight comparison I've been having for some reason for this fight is Morales vs Barrera. Morales was the more dynamic fighter and could do more things and looked better against similar competition. However, Barrera was the more technically sound fighter and just tighter with his punches and defense. I see this being a great fight with Crawford being more dynamic but Spence being a little cleaner in the exchanges and being more technically sound throughout the fight and that being enough to take a close, but clear decision.
Thoughts? Take care.
Bread’s Response: Sometimes you can take a fighter for his word. Sometimes he may say things to make the other guys believe he’s going to fight a certain way then when he fights differently. Floyd Mayweather used to say he was going stop guys then during the fight he would just beautifully box and get the win.
Bernard Hopkins used to say he would stop guys in a certain round, then the opponents would survive until the predicted round. But by that time Hopkins would be in control.
Errol was a destroyer in his career. But against Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia he was more boxer than destroyer. So let’s see how he fights Terence. I believe he’s the boxer in this specific match up but he sounds like he’s going to step to Terence like Hagler did Hearns. I’m curious as to how Errol will fight.
I haven’t seen either fighter take it to the body much. Both are great body punchers. Something has to give in this fight.
From what I have studied Crawford may be the best fighter in the world in exchanges. Only Tank and Boots can rival him in that department in my opinion. I don’t know if Errol is as good or not in exchanges because fighters don’t really exchange often with Errol. He overwhelms them. In the fights where he did exchange I thought he was 50/50 in exchanges vs Brook and Porter. So as of now, let’s say Crawford is the more accomplished fighter in terms of exchanges. But until they fight, we gotta see…
Hey Bread! Hi from Sydney. Love your insights into my favorite sport. I've heard some trainers ask a question re Errol & Bud: what's Errol gonna do when Bud takes away his jab? My question is how do you take away someone's jab? What does Bud need to do to accomplish that? Thanks in advance. Hope you & yours are heathy, happy & safe.
Hope you get an announcing gig down the road,I always enjoy your analysis.
Cheers, Dave Panichi
Bread’s Response: Errol has a great jab. Reminds me of Marvin Hagler’s ram rod southpaw jab. How do you take away a jab? Discourage the jabber from jabbing. Some guys you jab with them. Some guys you counter the jab. Some guys you smother the jab. Let’s see how Crawford deals with Errol’s jab. But here is the thing. Errol has to deal with Crawford’s jab also. Crawford has an excellent jab too he’s just not as known for it.
Saw somewhere that the great Roy Jones Jr was named the Fighter of the Decade for the 90s by Ring magazine. I noticed that he wasn’t named Fighter of the Year once in the Nineties… fascinating. Any idea what that’s about? I’m legit curious as to why that is…
Bread’s Response: You would think that a fighter who wins FOD will at least win FOY once in that decade. But the 90s was tough. Very tough. I think Roy or Pernell were the best FOD and I have no issue with Roy winning. Sometimes a fighter’s overall body of work supersedes individual years. I think this is case. If you think about it, the FOD 90s can only come down to a few fighters. Roy Jones, Oscar De La Hoya, Pernell Whitaker, Felix Trinidad, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis or Ricardo Lopez. All have their cases but I’m comfortable with Roy as my choice. Simply because I can make bigger arguments against everyone else not getting it than I can Roy.
I want to ask you about a few things going…What happened with Inoue and the postponement of his fight with Fulton? Do you believe it was suspicious that the fight was postponed after Inoue complained about drug testing? Who do you rate as the best out of Haney, Lopez, Davis or Stevenson? Do you have an official pick for Spence vs Crawford and Fulton vs Inoue, and what fights historically do you compare them to?
Bread’s Response: I don’t know all of the details. But I did read that Inoue complained about the drug testing. Then shortly after, the fight was postponed. I doesn’t mean Inoue is a dirty but one could take that as suspicious behavior. However suspicious behavior and guilty behavior is not the same. Until further notice Inoue is a clean. And I personally view him as one of the best fighters ever sub 118 and below but in a sport of soiled behavior a clear explanation to what happened would honorable.
I don’t rate any of them as the best. I want them to fight each other and figure it out for us. As of now none of them have fought each other. Ask me this 3 years from now.
I’m going to pick Scooter Fulton by SD. I expect him to maul Inoue in 2nd half of the fight. Dirty box him. Pushing him back. Grappling. Holding. Hitting on the break. Lots of stuff people will complain about the morning after.
I say Spence vs Crawford will be a highly controversial fight. Fight of the Decade type of clash. I don’t have a winner. I still haven’t figured it out.
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