God bless Bread, Blessings to you and your family. First off congratulations on the great victory on Saturday. Nice job! I wanted to ask your opinion on Turki Alashikh and his involvement in the boxing world. I'm sure you have heard the rumors about Saudi Arabia trying to establish a new boxing league and getting rid of the boxing organizations to establish a type of tournament in each weight category to create one champion. This is what the boxing world has been clamoring for years. Getting rid of these crooked organizations and creating one champion in each weight. What is your  take on this? Good idea, bad idea ? And why? I hear the boxing organizations are listening and it may have a chance to come to fruition.Blessings brother. Andres Gonzalez, Staten island, NY

Bread’s Response: Thank you. Um….So far, so good for Turki Alashikh. But I don’t know how things will go if the Saudi Sports Authority completely takes over boxing without the promoters. I would have to see how the infrastructure is. I would have to see how the pay is. I would have to see how the matchmaking is. It’s an impossible question to answer at this point…But I can say I like what I've seen thus far.

Hi Bread, Firstly, I want to congratulate you on your column on BoxingScene. I love reading it, your boxing knowledge is second to none. I'm an Aussie and love my boxing. Aussie boxing is in a golden era at present with some great fighters, Opetaia could potentially be one of the best we ever had from Australia. My question for you is potential matchups which have been talked about and seem to have a decent chance of happening, all-southpaw matchups too, go the lefties! I would appreciate your take on how you think these potential matchups would play out: Tank vs Lomachenko; Usyk vs Opetaia. 

My brief thoughts… Lomachenko still has some pop in his punches, Tank is going to get caught early, very interesting how this plays out. Thanks again, much appreciated. Cheers,Lenny

Bread’s Response: If Tank vs Loma would have happened in 2017 I would have favored Loma. But if it happens in 2024 I will favor Tank. It’s simple, Tank is operating at a higher level than Loma at this point. I think Loma is so up against it in this fight, if he were to win I would say he’s a Top 25 fighter, ever. That’s how highly I think of Tank’s talent. And for a 36- year-old fighter, who has seen better days, to be able to beat someone as talented as Tank, it would be an extraordinary accomplishment. Extraordinary!

I am very high on Opetaia but Usyk knows too much for him right now. Opetaia is an elite talent. Usyk is on the master level as far as boxing. He's on pilot control right now.

Hey Bread, hope all is well, a few questions. 

Do guys work on nuance in the gym or is it becoming few and far between?  I'm talking about stuff like the infighting in J-Rock vs Hurd or Toney vs McCallum. Also, how about pushing the pace, fighting faster like Canelo did vs Plant, Spence vs Brook etc. I also don’t see stuff like the George Foreman cross guard, switching of stances and framing. The only people who I see frame, outside of some European fighters, are Crawford, Keyshawn and Shakur. I love framing because it's a brilliant way to take power off a shot or a brilliant way to counter punch/get off a shot. 

Also I spar sometimes in my gym, light stuff. It's a regular gym, just happens to have a heavy bag. How should I fight a southpaw Cuban guy? He kills me with his jab and then there is this Asian kid with the Pacquiao/Inoue style fast feet, (closes the distance quick and has flying hooks). Help me out please lol. 

Last thought is that after watching Tank fight, I believe him being short may be his best asset. The leverage the dude is able to get on his shots and he always seems to get underneath people to generate more power. Tank has this leanback outwards to the side body shot that is beautiful and rarely done. Anyways thanks for your time. 

Bread’s Response: Everything gets worked on in the gym...

Tank being short is an advantage for him. For so many reasons… He makes you reach for him, which allows him to get work done over the top. In contrast, if you fire at Tank and he doesn’t try to counter over the top, he will wait and counter underneath. Tank never forgets the body. And with him already being low and down there, he waits for the opponent to rise up then Tank fires underneath like he did vs Marios Barrios and Ryan Garcia.

Tank is one of the best punchers I have ever seen. He’s on the level of Mike Tyson and Naseem Hamed as punchers. He’s actually a mix of the two.

What's good Bread, I'm super happy for Tank. He's in his prime and on a generational run right now. With that being said a few things irk me. Terence Crawford has been doing similar stuff to Tank for the past seven years and is just now reaching mainstream. Obviously a Floyd push helps. Another one is I see some fans saying his IQ is great and on par with Floyd, um no. I think he may have the best offensive IQ in the game besides Bud. Defensively no, he reminds of Canelo in that 2020-21 space where he was walking dudes down and was so offensively dynamic you couldn't overcome him (see Canelo vs Plant/Saunders). Lastly everyone is saying Shakur & Loma would be the right foils for him. I like Shakur but his lack of pop and reaction to heavy punches concern me. I'm gonna go on a limb and say Teo, when Teo is switched on, he's game with anybody and has the athletic ability to give anyone fits. Still would favor Tank though. The 140 division is crazy. All the top dogs have took an L and so called boogeyman Russell and Matias were tamed. Lastly, what happened with James Toney after he fought RJJ? Dude was an ATG run and then just seemed to fight non-descript competition that didn't move the needle. Am I wrong? 

Bread’s Response: Crawford has been doing similar stuff to Tank but Tank was promoted differently. Tank is also from Baltimore. Crawford is from Omaha. Both towns support them but it’s different. I don’t really like to compare in this context. Both are doing their thing.

Tank is an offensive fighter with a high IQ. Floyd is a defensive fighter with a high IQ. They fight differently. Again I just think the comparison is asinine and pointless. No offense but you’re trying to find something to disagree and argue about. 

Tank is a special talent. How about that. Just give him his props. The comparisons to Floyd and Crawford are just pointless. It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not. There's just no point. Tank just won a fight vs a real Ring-rated contender in his prime and you’re looking for something to say - how about congratulations.

I MAY agree with you about who Tank’s toughest opponent will be. Teofimo Lopez has everything to give Tank trouble. IQ, range, quick twitch reactions, power and experience in these high level fights vs southpaws. But we have to see these fights close to their primes to see.

Loma vs Tank raises three questions for me. I saw Ben Davison say he thought Loma's footwork going backwards is not that good in a relative sense, any thoughts on that? I don't like the idea of pressuring a puncher like Tank, does Loma have to do that? Historically, when has pressuring a fighter of Tank's attributes worked? Thanks for a great weekly read for a decade now.

Bread’s Response: Loma has excellent footwork. He goes forward more but I think he fights well backing up. He doesn’t fight well when he waits. I think Loma waiting is more of an issue of him backing away. I think Loma’s lack of range on his jab is why he doesn’t look as good fighting backing up. Not so much a lack of dexterity. Loma's anatomy may make him look less skillful at backing up. Whereas fighters with long rangy jabs look better backing away...

After seeing a fairly inexperienced boxer in Frank Martin fight a dead even fight with Gervonta Davis until round eight, I’m not as high on Davis. I’m not buying his ability to box with the best of the best. Two of the other three lightweight champions are just that in terms of technical boxing ability. Do you think Davis would beat the other lightweight champions? After the Martin fight, I don’t think I do.

Bread’s Response: You’re tripping. That was a sensational performance by Tank. Martin is a very talented and skilled fighter. I don’t care how many rounds Tank loses. Some fighters are good at winning rounds. Some are better at winning fights. Tank is the latter. 

As far as who would win if he fought the other champions. That’s why they fight the fights. You can’t get credit for something you haven’t done. I think Tank would open as the favorite to fight ALL three champions at 135. But that doesn’t mean he can’t win, he just hasn’t yet, and when you take tough fights vs elite talent in their primes you’re bound to take some lumps. Let’s see how it plays out.

What’s up sir? So like you, I'm a huge fan of Tank. When he turned up the heat Saturday night I could feel it. Just a change of mindset/strategy after the sixth (where we all heard his coaches say that he needed the rest of the rounds). He powered up and it was amazing.  I’m a fan of Martin as well. He was doing his thing and I want to see him against the others at the top of the division. Would you ever want a fighter to use a strategy that loses all those rounds? Like the rope-a-dope, to tire an opponent? Tank barely moved around the ring, Martin did laps and lots of them were backwards. Obviously it worked and Tank is Tank. The worry that the KO won’t come was in my mind. As the trainer wouldn't you press your fighter to not give up so many early rounds? Especially when talented enough to do that?

On the opposite side, maybe like with Caleb Plant, would you want your fighter to use all that movement? No matter the shape they are in, it just seems the other fighter stays more relaxed and conserves the energy. Or is it more out of necessity? I love Plant and his last KO was when he stood his ground if I recall it right, so don’t you get more bang for the buck when you are the forward pressuring fighter? More pop as your feet are usually planted better? And lastly, I gotta say when they read the official scorecards after Tank’s KO, they had Tank up. Wow. I had it 6-1. After the amazing feeling as a fan for the fight ending like that, all I could think of was how terrible it would’ve been if Martin had the fight of his life and ended up losing due to “boxing doing boxing”. Boxing just can’t get out of its way. (Now I’m thinking of some robberies and it’s depressing lol).

Thanks much, Kevin from MD

Bread’s Response: I don’t mind Tank losing rounds. He’s taking inventory on his opponent’s rhythm and habits. It’s HOW he operates. If he exposed his offense too early the opponents would get acclimated to his moves and they wouldn’t have the same effect. Tank is SUDDEN with his attack which is why he can’t show too much. It's not like it takes Tank six rounds to warm up, and he's down 6-0 in these fights. He's always within range to win a decision if he doesn't get the KO. How many come from behind KO situations have we seen him in where he had to score a KO because he was down so big on the cards?

Hi Breadman, I have been following your mailbag for the past 10 years. I am not a boxing pundit or expert, but I really admire your work, I do not miss your mailbag. Just know that your work is impactful globally. I am from South Africa, and you will not see me on posts or tweets glamorizing your work or talking about how great you are; but just know that your work is reaching everyone internationally and globally. You are a fair analyst, you the fairest, unbiased boxing expert that I know. You do not attach your feelings to your analysis and you are a professional. 

I just watched the Benavidez vs Gvozdyk fight, I think he beats Beterbiev but not Bivol. Call me crazy, before this fight I thought he outclasses Canelo, but now I think it is a 50/50 fight. He is not knocking out Canelo; I think Canelo wins a split decision. If I were Canelo, I would take the fight now, from 75 to 68 there should be a difference. Canelo just needs to be busy, because Benavidez is not knocking out Canelo

Bread’s Response: Thank you but I disagree. I think Benavidez beats Bivol and Canelo. I don’t think any of them can beat Beterbiev. But again, they have to fight the fights.

Bread, I just finished reading a book called "Murder On Federal Street" that chronicled the career and tragic death of Tyrone Everett. The book also detailed the Philly boxing scene in the late 60s through the 70s. It is a great read. Tyrone was obviously a great fighter. Unfortunately, there is not much high quality video  footage of him online. Is his name often mentioned in the Philly boxing circles as being one of the greats to emerge from city? What fighter would you compare him to past and present?

Bread’s Response: Yes Everett’s name is mentioned all the time. He's a legend! He was a great fighter who should’ve been world champion. His trainer Jimmy Author, trained Aasim Beyah. Aasim Beyah trained Julian Williams with me. So there is an indirect connection to Everett with me. It’s really hard for me to say who Everett fights like. He’s not unorthodox but he had a unique style. He was a southpaw boxer-puncher who had great feet. The closest guy I’ve seen to him today would be Shakur Stevenson but their styles are far off. I just can’t think of anyone else today. Maybe Sandor Martin…

Hey Bread, I wanted to say thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom each week. With the Pro Box takeover I’m glad they were smart enough to keep your services. I have a few questions I wanted to ask and if you can answer any I’d be grateful. Firstly, I wanted to ask how you view boxing in this digital age. For instance how much boxing do you watch live on TV/streaming and how many fights do you go to in person when you’re not working a corner? Do you watch cards from around the world live like U.K. cards shown in the afternoon or Asian cards shown in the early hours in your time zone? Do you watch Olympic boxing as it’s happening or do you see most of your fights later on YouTube? I recall you saying you don’t really buy too many PPVs but might watch in the casino/bookies. Do you see a lot of fights/fighters only to devise strategy for your guys you’ve got in the gym? You seemed to know about a fighter like Josh Taylor when he was early double digits in fights where some American analysts wouldn’t have been. I’m curious how you consume boxing in 2024.

Secondly I wanted to ask you about how you rate LHW fighter Joshua Buatsi. He was a bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics, is now 31, and has never had a world title shot. You’ve spoken about top guys getting their shots by the next Olympic cycle but he’s about to pass the second Olympic cycle. He turned Bivol down because he didn’t want to re-sign with his promoter at the time but now with the postponement of the undisputed fight he’ll not get a title shot until 2025 at the earliest. He’s had a few European level tests and a few domestic UK fights and always prevailed but he’s not always had it his own way in those fights. We’ve got a decent LHW mix in the U.K. with good (maybe not elite) guys like Anthony Yarde, Callum Smith, Lyndon Arthur, Willy Hutchinson, Ben Whittaker and Craig Richards. Would you say he’s the best of those if you know any of them? 

One thing I will say is that Virgil Hunter seemed to want more learning fights rather than a title shot asap for Buatsi. Lastly, I wanted to ask you about fighters going into fights carrying injuries. From what I hear most fighters are never 100 per cent throughout training and on fight night. But on the recent Saudi cards I saw HW Frank Sanchez looking to me a completely different fighter and not able to compete. And also LHW Lyndon Arthur was seen limping around the hotel before his fight on another Saudi card. Granted the Saudis are paying huge sums but in Sanchez’s case is it really worth your ‘0’ for the payday? (if he was injured) Have you ever had a fighter with a serious injury going into a fight and if not would you stop them or end your involvement if they didn’t pull out being in that situation? Is it something the pre-fight medical should pick up?

Thanks for the time, Francois

Bread’s Response: I don’t go to fights often if I’m not working. But I do watch PPVs and/or watch them on streams. I love watching boxing. I love the sport. It’s how I make my living so I definitely watch fights. I just don’t attend many if I’m not working.

Joshua Buatsi is an excellent fighter. What I said about being ready by the next Olympic class is relatable but it was more so for heavyweights, not every single weight division. However, I do feel like Buatsi’s development has been a little bit slow but I think he’s had some promotional issues so that might explain it. I'm looking forward to Buatsi making his move going into next year. Development is very intricate. If you move too slow, fighters behind you catch up to you. If you move too fast, you will struggle and lose confidence with your performances.

All of the fighters you named have to fight each other for me to say who’s the best. Right now my favorites to come out of the lot you named would be Buatsi, Whitaker or Hutchinson.

I’ve had fighters who had  injuries but I’ve never had to postpone a fight because of it. Julian Williams caught a flu like virus three weeks before he was to fight Jeison Rosario. I think that’s the closest I’ve ever come to cancelling a fight. 

No, I wouldn’t leave a fighter if he wanted to fight with an injury. Most real fighters will. I would never leave a fighter for that. I also wouldn't force a fighter to fight with an injury. It’s a subjective call and I would respect it either way. As long as the fighter took responsibility if the results didn't go their way.

Writing just after the Kyrone fight. First of all, great work and game plan with Kyrone. I had a personal stake in this as you helped win me a couple thousand on that fight, I couldn't believe the odds on it because of the match-up, the upper class and elite guys that Kyrone has been in and given a good account of himself and the style and lack of dynamic ability someone like Elijah has it was ridiculous odds in my opinion so I had to jump on it and pretty big too. Respect to Elijah he's not a bad fighter at all and has good pop but like I said he just isn't dynamic enough for me with that style, especially against a smart guy who has good composure against some of the best who is in a upward trajectory for his career working with you. Odds looked like people who haven't even watched the two fighters before and went based off numbers and record. The odds made a little more sense after hearing those scorecards, they had one judge that was paid off 100 per cent. There's no explaining that, it's corruption. I noticed Kyrone and Caleb both use their lead hand and have it extended much of the fight whether pawing it or extending it out like a rangefinder without throwing a punch. As a trainer do you encourage this and work on it or is it natural things they do? I've seen fighters get warned for doing this often in the past and have been under the impression it is not legal to have that arm extended out unless a punch is being thrown. Is there a rule officially for that, is it at the ref’s discrepancy?

Thanks, Jake

Bread’s Response: I didn’t agree with the odds on the fight either. But I don’t make them so… I can either make them look wrong or I can make them look right. It’s just that simple. Elijah Garcia is a very good young fighter. Garcia is NOT overrated. Kyrone was just UNDERRATED. It’s a big difference.

You know something… That judge(John Mckaie) killed my joy. I was happy after the fight but I couldn’t totally enjoy it because I couldn’t believe how brazen he was with his scorecard. A 98-92 scorecard for Garcia in this specific fight, is a scorecard you can’t come up without some influence. What the influence was, I don’t know. But I don’t believe that was JUST a case of the judge seeing the fight differently from mostly everyone else. I will leave it at that.

Hi Bread,Congratulations on the win with Kyrone. It looked like you guys really had you opponent’s number and really stifled any momentum he was trying to gather. My question is about the 5 vs 5 card in Saudi, what did you think of the concept? Would you like to see it happen in America? My own thoughts is that it could be taken in very cool directions, for example, a Philadelphia 5 vs Detroit 5 or New York 5 vs LA 5 or, to use my own, home Irish 5 vs English 5. Would draw some serious crowds and interest and create a team atmosphere in an individual sport. What you think?

Sean in Ireland 

Bread’s Response: I love the 5 on 5 concept. Sure it can happen in America, the promoters just need to be creative and assertive. There are so many built in boxing rivalries that any of them can draw the emotions of their fan bases. I don’t want to say too much because the game is to be sold, not to be told. And people take my ideas and make money off them. But I will say I like your idea and it can work.

This prisoner-of-the-moment I constantly see with today's boxing fan is quite amusing. As we saw last weekend, Tank Davis blasted out a very game Frank Martin in spectacular fashion, as expected [I predicted Tank by KO In 10]. Frank Martin is a pretty good fighter, but we all knew he wasn't experienced enough to survive 12 rounds with Tank, yet here goes a legion of fans anointing Tank the "lightweight Mike Tyson" and proclaiming how he will decapitate Shakur if and when they ever fight. Was Martin not a 7-1 underdog, or am I missing something? I pull a muscle laughing when I read some of this stuff written because I've seen this movie before with Chico Corrales and others. You remember the buzz around Corrales after he destroyed Smoke Gainer. Chico was supposed to annihilate Pretty Boy Floyd according to many fans and pundits. In fact Vegas had the fight even money, 8-5 Floyd or 8-5 Corrales, depending on the sports book. I remember it like it was yesterday. We all know how that fight played out. When you have the time, Google "Mayweather vs. Corrales fight predictions". You will see an old, hard-to-read HTML page with the predictions of reputable boxing writers and pundits. Quite a few picked Corrales to win, and one of those pundits was Max Kellerman. I have two other points I want to touch on unrelated to this one, but don't want to make this writing too long, so I'll keep a note for myself to address them in the next one. Take care and be safe always.

Carl Hewitt, Queens, NY

Bread’s Response: I’m not willing to argue over who would win a fight between Tank Davis and Shakur Stevenson when they can fight and haven’t yet. I can see you’re leaning towards Shakur and that’s not a bad pick. Shakur is a tremendous fighter, with the type of boxing skills that can offset Tank’s strength. Personally I don’t have a pick yet because it’s a fight that either can win and I would want to see the form they are in if and when they ever sign to fight.

But you come off as condescending like your opinion is a fact. I also don’t think the Mayweather vs Corrales comparison is accurate. Corrales was a tremendous fighter and very highly regarded in 2001. But he was tall, with short arms and wasn’t the counter puncher or athlete that Tank is. So that made him a BIG target for the sharpshooting Mayweather. In that fight Corrales’s stature worked against him. Tank’s stature, power and counter punching make him a small but dangerous target. I’m not saying who’s better, I’m saying it’s a different fight.

Floyd at 130lbs was much more offensive than Shakur is currently. If you look at their records at this stage you will see Floyd was stopping most of his opponents. As with Shakur he dominates his opponents but he wasn’t scoring stoppages at nowhere near the rate that Floyd was at the stage you’re comparing. Last but not least Diego was much easier to hit, than Tank ever has been. So while Shakur may win, I wouldn’t expect a 5 knockdown and late stoppage domination.

Tank’s performance vs Frank Martin impressed me. The odds were the odds. But Martin was sharp, well prepared and he’s very athletic. Although the odds were in Tank’s favor, he still has to deliver in the ring. It’s not as easy as you make it out to be to score highlight reel kos over Top 10 Ring Rated fighters the way Tank does. If it was so easy for the favorites to just deliver at the snap of a finger, Gary Antuane Russell and Elijah Garcia who were both on that card, who were big favorites also and both LOST. 

As for the Mike Tyson comparison. In terms of ability and talent I think it’s reasonable. It’s not an exact comparison but I see many similarities in Tank and Tyson. I actually think Tank is hybrid mix of Mike Tyson, Prince Naseem Hamed and Zab Judah. I’m not saying accomplishment-wise because he’s obviously taken longer to develop and those guys were further along in terms of taking tougher fights earlier. But in terms of talent and fighting strengths, the similarities are strong in my opinion. If you can’t see that Tank has special talent, it’s because you like being a cynic. 

I remember you saying how rampant PED use was in boxing many years ago. And although you don’t talk about it as much, you seem to fight the good fight. Now that Ryan Garcia’s punishment has been handed down, what are your thoughts on the whole situation? Do you agree or disagree with the suspension?

Bread’s Response: I’m still fighting the good fight, I just know, no one really cares unless it’s THEIR fighter on the wrong end of the PED use.

I like that the NYSAC handed down more than a six-month suspension. Six months is a joke. So a year is a good start but 18-24 months is what I’m more in favor of because most fighters at Ryan’s level fight on the average of every 8-9 months….

I also like the fines and Garcia being made to pay back his guaranteed purse. That’s significant.

I agree with the result being changed to a NC. That’s also fair.

I agree with Garcia having to go through random drug testing. That's reasonable considering he tested POSITIVE.

I had a feeling it would go this way when the Ashwaganda company and Nutrabio the supplement company both came out with claims that Garcia’s excuse of contamination of their products were not TRUE. That was significant and Garcia’s team never challenged their responses. I waited for a practical excuse and one was never produced..

One last thing. Sports Betting. Garcia was a BIG underdog vs Devin Haney in a high profile fight. Garcia won and I'm assuming it cost the sportsbooks big money. There is no way for them to get that money back. Unfortunately for Ryan he most likely made some enemies that he doesn't even know.......This SAGA has many layers. 

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