September 25, 2021

Daily Bread Mailbag: Fury, Lopez-Davis, Crawford-Brook, More

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Stephen “Breadman” Edwards has been tackling topics such as Terence Crawford vs. Kell Brook, Errol Spence, Gennady Golovkin, the Tevin Farmer vs. JoJo Diaz rematch, WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Teofimo Lopez vs. Gervonta Davis and more.

What’s good Bread,

Lotta folks out there saying Kell Brook is weight drained before the man even steps on the scale. Mostly the bottom feeders of the message board, but it got me thinking how a trainer like yourself, who has been in the game for a while, is able to spot a weight drained fighter. What are some of the obvious and not so obvious signs you look for in a weight drained fighter at weigh-in? Would something like that alter your game plan for the fight? Who’s your pick in this fight? I got Crawford TKO by 8 or 9.

Atlanta, GA

Bread’s Response: If I see a fighter who is weight drained, I tell my guys to really go to the body because when fighters are weight drained they over compensate by over eating and over drinking.

There are things to look for to see if a fighter is weight drained. Their speech is one. If you notice, fighters who are dehydrated, fatigued and weight drained can’t speak with zest. Their words drag and they have no life to their voice. Their eyes get really sunken in and their skin loses tone. The most important thing is their energy fight week. I look at how sharp they work out on media day. I look at their energy at the press conference. I look at their energy at the weigh in. Weight drained fighters just go through the motions.

Brook does look good but I can’t help to think, if he had trouble making weight in 2017, that he will have trouble making weight in 2020. Brook is not big in terms of dimensions. He’s about 5’9 with average length arms. But he’s very dense. His body is well put together. I can’t help but to think he burns into his muscle fibers making 147lbs. I assume that because he didn’t fight at welterweight after the Spence fight and he called out Spence to fight him at 154lbs.

Let’s see what happens. I also like Crawford by late stoppage. Brook is skillful. But I think Crawford is more willful

What’s good breadman, I really appreciate you doing this mailbag.

I was looking over punch stats on compubox and a few fighters that seem to stand out and have similar statistics,  Spence, Inoue, and Golovkin. Are there some similarities between their styles you could detail? Also, Errol’s punch activity numbers were more comparable to featherweights than welterweights. Is his activity a big part of what separates him from others in the division? Does his volume stem from his educated right land?

I’ve been seeing GGG getting the last spot on a lot p4p list. I love GGG, but I feel at this moment Chocolatito, and Manny Pacquiao is better p4p, what’s your opinion?

Bread’s Response: I think Spence and GGG have some similarities but neither really fights like Inoue. The most common thing they all have is all are excellent body punchers.

Errol does keep a really high rate for a welterweight. He’s constantly putting mental and physical pressure on you. Errol has a really good grit gene in him. He knows how to grit out wins. He’s done it as a pro and amateur. His volume lies in his conditioning. His coach Derrick James is good on the pads. His fighters, fight at the same tempo they hit pads. So their stamina is usually better because the tempo of the fight does not change their heart rate.

I don’t believe GGG is a top 10 P4P fighter anymore. And this is coming from someone who has really supported him throughout the years. I think he’s struggled too much with his recent performances to be a top 10 P4P guy. I think Chocolatito, Manny and GGG are all operating at about the same level at this point but Choc and Manny have really good decisive clear wins lately and GGG doesn’t. So let’s just say they are hotter right now. My Top 10 P4P includes none of them at the moment.

  1. Terence Crawford
    2. Monster Inoue
    3. Canelo Alvarez
    4. Errol Spence
    5. Teofimo Lopez
    6. Vasyl Lomachenko
    7. Artur Beterbiev
    8. Juan Estrada
    9. Tyson Fury
    10. Josh Taylor

What’s up Breadman, I’d like your thoughts on Kell Brook. I’m sure you probably spoke on this when the Spence vs Brook fight was announced but humor me since he’s back in action at 147. I felt he was a good welterweight and we never got to know how special due to his choice to fight Golovkin. How do you think going up in weight and going back down affected him? Do you think he could have won the Spence fight if he’d stayed at 147? I guess my questions are leading to…was Brook a good fighter who made bad career choices or an ok fighter who didn’t have the tools to beat a young hungry Spence? How does that type of weight change affect a fighter? And do you think his shortcomings are due to defensive flaws and delicate facial bones?

Bread’s Response: I think Kell Brook was an excellent fighter. When he fought GGG I thought he was a top 10 P4P fighter. He still has performed the best vs Shawn Porter than anyone else.

I don’t know if going up in weight affected him as much as say Roy Jones. I don’t know if Brook put on 13lbs of muscle. Or was it a case of simply not cutting the last 13lbs. All of these guys walk around about 25lbs over their division weight.

I think Errol Spence would have still beaten him but we will never know. I always thought it was peculiar that Spence was the one designated to fight Brook. The PBC had the division on lock during Spence’s rise as a contender. But he was the chosen one to fight Brook who wasn’t a PBC fighter and fight him overseas. That shows tremendous confidence in Spence. Brook had already beaten Shawn Porter here in America while both were undefeated…..

I always thought Brook struggled to make 147lbs. I noticed when he fought Carson Jones and struggled. He fought him in a rematch at a higher catchweight. That told me something. “The little things.”

Brook is most likely a tweener. I guy who feels most comfortable around 150lbs but there is no such weight division. He doesn’t seem fast or dynamic enough to beat the top fighters at 154. They were all dying to fight him and he never took a title shot there. That also tells me something.

Brook has admittedly struggled to make 147lbs. He challenged Errol Spence to a rematch at 154. He hasn’t made 147lbs in 3 years and now all of a sudden he makes 147lbs for Crawford. I don’t understand the logic behind that. But it’s not for me to understand. Brook knows his body.

I don’t think he has delicate facial bones. I think GGG has hard hands and once you get your face broken, it becomes prone to be broken again.

I think Brook will fight his heart out. I think he’s game but not “Dead Game”. I think Terence Crawford is made up differently on the inside. He has next level viciousness in him. I think he’s a meaner human than Brook. I also believe that Brook labors when he’s tired, where as Crawford does not. Brook has a very good chin. He’s been stopped twice but more due to a submission than being wobbled constantly and not able to take a punch.

I think Brook will land his sneaky right hand on Crawford. I think he may even drop or stun Crawford. But at some point Crawford’s character will kick in. Crawford has meanness in him that is not FAKE. I have seen FAKE mean fighters, who were really front runners and are only mean when they have their opponent’s out matched. I get the sense Crawford is different.

I don’t believe Crawford can concuss Brook unless he clips him with a death shot. I think GGG and Spence are harder punchers than him punch for punch. But Crawford is probably the most vicious finisher of this era. He’s been on a tear lately. I think Brook’s corner rescues him late after his early sharpness wears off. Crawford finishes fighters as if they robbed him at gun point many years ago and he now recently runs into them and they don’t have a gun anymore.

Hey Bread,

Hope you’re doing good ?

I was also surprised with the few commentaries in your mailbag last week on Tank, I thought it was going to be a lot ! He fought a really great fight, he perfectly controlled the rhythm and what I liked the most was his body work!

I noticed that Lopez also had an excellent body work vs Loma with straight right hands, the same kind Beterbiev landed on Gvozdyk in their mega fight (even tough it seems only few people realized that was a mega fight).

This 2 kids are really talented and have dynamite in both hands.
What do you think of a fight between them at 135 ?

Personally, I was so impressed with Lopez last performance that I think it would be very difficult for Tank to get to him.
I think nobody talked about Inoue’s KO on Maloney, man that right hand was a thing of beauty !!
Last but not least, I’ve read that Canelo could fight Plant now that he is a free agent. I think that’s might be the more difficult fight for Canelo from 160 to 168. If Plant shows a good chin I can see him win that one!

If Canelo wins, where do you put him ? ATG or am I going too far ?

Thanks for your time !
Max from France

Bread’s Response: I was very impressed with both Tank and Teo. Both of those guys are what I classify as Speed Thudders in my 5 categories of punchers. They have thudding power, their punchers stay on the same ARC but they also have very fast hands. They have real power!

I would slightly favor Lopez over Tank at this point. The reason being is Lopez took a fight as an underdog vs a P4P fighter. Tank has not done that yet and he’s been champion longer. I think they are both super talented but Tank fought an easier step up fight vs Leo Santa Cruz than Teofimo did vs Loma. If you’re being objective you will admit that. I also believe that when a fight is this close, size matters. Tank has a physicality advantage over his opponents. He won’t have that advantage over Teofimo who is probably a junior welterweight that can make lightweight. Last but not least I think Teofimo has more range than Tank. I’m not just talking about arm length but I’m talking the ability to operate from long range. Tank is deadly in the mid range and inside. But I think Teo is deadly at all 3 ranges, outside, mid range and inside. I think Teo would score more from the outside on Tank. Teo showed a really good jab and distance control vs Loma that I think would serve him well vs Tank.

Inoue is the best puncher in all of boxing. He’s ridiculous. I’ve seen him score 1 punch kos with either hand to the head and body. Leading and countering. His reflexes and trigger pull is like a video game.

When I first heard that Canelo “wanted” Plant I thought it was just a social media fluff story. Plant is the last guy I would fight if I was Canelo. But Canelo did choose to fight Lara, another guy who was a stylistic nightmare, so I give him credit. He’s willing to take those types of fights even as the A side.

I agree with you. Obviously Canelo will be the favorite. And obviously we haven’t seen Plant vs enough elite opponents. But stylistically this is a very tough fight for Canelo. You have a natural super middleweight, who is in his physical prime. Tall and rangy with excellent speed and reflexes. He’s also one of the top 5 PURE BOXERS in boxing. I think that’s what makes him difficult because of his boxing temperament. If he has elite composure and a chin to hold off of Canelo’s surges, I think he has a serious chance to win the fight if it happens.

Canelo may be an ATG already. But if he beats an undefeated in his prime talented kid like Plant, yes for sure he’s an ATG.

Peace be unto you good brother,

2 quick questions…

1) What happened to Tevin Farmer? It’s like he took that loss to JoJo Diaz and now he’s not mentioned at all at 130-135. I’ve always liked his style and his come up… Do you think he’s out at the top level? Can he get back?
2) Who is the best gym fighter/sparring partner you’ve seen who didn’t have as much if any success at the pro level?

Thanks for reading whether you pick my email or not.
Peace and power,

Bread’s Response: 1. I think Farmer is looking for his rematch v s Jo Jo Diaz. I think he’s still in the picture but Covid, and negotiations may be slowing down the rematch. I think he can get back but he has to show better form than recent. I’m a big supporter of Tevin Farmer and I think he’s going to put his heart and soul in the rematch. Let’s see what happens.

2. I heard a guy named Gary Bell was murder in the gym. Holyfield used him in the gym and they say he was remarkable.

Ishe Smith went on to be a solid world champion but I heard in the 90s and early 2000s he was a stone cold killer in the gyms out in Vegas. Fernando Vargas even shouted him out after a fight once.

Emanuel Steward said Andy Lee was the BOSS in the gym at Kronk. Lee had a solid career but I hear was a better gym fighter.

In Philadelphia I have personally seen Karl and Mike Dargan spar. Both were unbelievable in the gym.

Hey bread, long time since I’ve written in. After seeing Inoue’s knockout, a video came out of him drilling the exact punch he won with. I believe the same thing happened with his knockout of payano. Can you think of other fights where a fighter saw a very specific flaw and drilled to exploit it exactly and won? Sugar Ray Robinson’s left hook comes to mind, and possibly charlo lubin.

Next, I remember a while ago you talking about not letting a fighter warm up and when he got on a treadmill you ramped up the speed to surprise them and see how they coped. I was thinking of that with usyk chisora. Usyk had to deal with a sudden unexpected intensity and he handled it well in my opinion. What do you think?

Bread’s Response: I have trained for many fights where the exact shot we worked on, worked in the real fight. That’s what good pad work is for. Charlo vs Lubin is a great example.

Yes Chisora had some hard outburst. Usyk had excellent conditioning but I didn’t like his execution. I really thought he could have picked Chisora apart more. He really didn’t. Chisora was exhausted and sloppy and Usyk let him off the hook. I won’t be too harsh on Usyk but I don’t think he’s as sharp as he was at Cruiserweight. In this era your number of fights are low and having back to back subpar performances can be a slight cause of concern. But Usyk still finds a way to win so let’s see him step up to Joshua.

Do you think Tyson Fury’s past positive PED test are getting overlooked? I mean he’s being accused of cheating and he has cheated before. The media seems to give him a pass on his wild boar excuse. Do you think this is racial or does he have a good PR team? I know Wilder’s accusations seem outlandish. And I don’t believe Breland did what he’s being accused of. But it’s not out of the question for Fury to have tampered with his gloves. He did use PEDS.

Bread’s Response: You have a very good point. I don’t know why this doesn’t get brought up. But the past can at times indicate certain aspects of one’s character. Yes you’re correct. Fury has had PED issues in the past.

I don’t know if it’s racial. I don’t know if it’s Fury’s PR team. And this is why I won’t take a side in this thing. I don’t have enough information. I won’t say Deontay is crazy because it seems outlandish. And I won’t say Fury is innocent because he does have a positive PED test. Let’s see what happens.

tyson-fury (2)_16

Hello Breadman,

Just rewatched the old Moorer vs Foreman fight. What is your explanation for Moorer not circling to his right – as they must have prepared for in camp, Atlas kept telling him and it evidently worked for him during the bout when he did it – why did he stay in front of Foreman you think?

Instead of being cute and using movement, which it seems would have won the fight handily when watching the fight with hindsight, he clearly fought Foreman’s fight.

One question: who would have won had Kessler and Pavlik met in 2012/2013?

Thanks for the effort and the insights!

Bread’s Response: Exclusively going to your right as a southpaw is a myth. Elite southpaws can go both ways. Same as right handed fighters fighting southpaws. Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins go to their rights fighting southpaws. I have seen both ways work. It just depends on the fighter.

Michael Moorer was a fighter who didn’t use his legs too often. He had a busy hard jab. He threw short, hard punches. And he was mid range guy. He wasn’t a guy who got up on his toes. Ali, Jimmy Young and Holyfield were bounce fighters who troubled Foreman. Those were his previous 3 losses. Moorer was a “step” fighter. He was fighting his fight.

I think Foreman was throwing a looping left hook to the body. He was steering Moorer into his right hand. He kept throwing that shot. Just to line Moorer up. Foreman didn’t care about points. He didn’t care about how many shots he took. He cared out landing his right hand on Moorer’s nerve center to score a ko.

They say don’t look for one shot. But if you can’t match a fighter’s work rate or boxing ability, looking for one shot can work. Because it enhances your chances of success. Foreman had 36 minutes to land that one shot. In 36 minutes landing one shot is not hard. It’s similar to what Wilder does. Foreman had the IQ and the mind to do it. He didn’t have the youth or reflexes to box Moorer punch for punch. So he set him up. It was a brilliant Game plan. It was NOT luck. It was what I call a Money Shot. Randall Baily did the same thing to Mike Jones many years later. I think it was more of what Foreman DID, instead of what Moorer didn’t do. Foreman was a slow fighter in 1994. But that last 1-2 was quick and smooth. He knew exactly what he was doing.

Hi Bread

Story bud? Hope you, your family and team are well.

I messaged my uncle about this Wilder excuse fallout, my feelings were he has lost it. We are fans of both fighters, but being Irish, we’re bigger Fury fans.

My uncle responded by saying the gloves definitely look dodgy, and the dent in his head is suspect. Can a dent like this happen with a fist, and do the gloves look suspect in your expert opinion?

Bread’s Response: I don’t know if a dent like that can be caused from a punch. But I don’t get into the Fury vs Wilder thing because I just don’t. There aren’t enough facts for me to pick a side in something I have nothing to do with. Too many people in the media do that in my opinion. I won’t put myself out there in either’s favor unless some indisputable truth comes out or my instincts tell me to do so.

As far as the gloves. Here is the thing. I have only seen “still” shots. And “still” shots can be misleading. A private investigator can take a“still” shot of your wife walking past a man smiling. And say she was on date with him. When in fact she could have just been smiling and for that quick second she was walking past him.

I know enough about life to know, if you want something to “look” a certain way it can be made to look that way.

I have tons of respect for Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury as fighters. I love how Wilder has overachieved in his career and become successful. I love Fury’s confidence and natural boxing ability. You won’t get me taking a side in this thing.

I expected Gervonta Davis would get the win, but I was bummed for Leo. I like him as a fighter and a person, and it kinda hurt seeing him on the wrong end of a Knockout of the Year candidate. It also hurts knowing that from here on, there are more than likely going to be trolls saying he has a weak chin.

That’s unfortunate and unfair, because I think that uppercut Davis landed knocks out anybody at or around 130 if it hits them clean. Got me wondering, who are some other fighters that have had that happen to them? I mean guys that got a rep for being chinny, but you think a particular punch that landed would’ve knocked out anybody. I think of the punch Canelo landed that knocked out Amir Khan or the punch Hearns landed to knock out Roberto Duran. Are there others you can think of like that?

Bread’s Response: I also feel bad for Leo Santa Cruz. He’s a nice kid and the internet is unforgiving. I literally block or unfollow people who make MEMES about a fighter getting kod. I think it’s disrespectful. Fighters do something that is not natural. That’s literally fighting another man willingly in front of the world with the chance of getting embarrassed and being kod. They deserve respect.

I don’t think Santa Cruz is chinny. He has always shown a sturdy chin throughout his career and he never shied away from contact. He got caught with a DEATH SHOT. I have seen chinny fighters who have never been kod. I won’t name him out of respect but there is a prominent recent welterweight who I always felt was chinny even when before he eventually lost by ko. I just didn’t think he took a punch well and he would always wobble and loose faculties when hit clean. I say that to say I never got that impression from Santa Cruz. He just got caught by a monster puncher who was too big for him.

However I do think Amir Khan is a chinny fighter. He’s been hurt too often in his career. He gets wobbled and disorganized too often for it to be dismissed as“just getting caught”. He has not shown the history of a good chin that Santa Cruz has had.  I do think the punch Canelo hit him with would have kod most fighters but here is the thing. Most elite fighters wouldn’t have been hit with THAT punch. Canelo easily set Khan up for that shot. It really bothered me that Khan got hit with such a big shot. I don’t like seeing a fighter get hurt too badly. Khan lacks processing ability which also leads to his bad ko losses.

Roberto Duran has a chin of stone. He just got caught by Hearns. Duran took Barkley and Hagler’s punches just fine at 160lbs. Hearns vs Duran is a case of Davis vs Santa Cruz. A bigger younger fighters catching them with kill shots. It happens. Anyone who knows boxing, knows Duran is far from chinny. He has a great chin. He just got clipped.

You have to look at these things on a case by case basis.

I’m making this assumption based off of some of your past responses, Breadman. Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken. But in past mailbags, you’ve struck me as a guy that fumes at fighters (or just athletes in general) who waste their talent. Whether it’s through lack of discipline or whatever, one of the biggest narratives of sports that’s played out time and again is the narrative of “squandered potential”.

Who are some guys you think could’ve been game changers if they hadn’t squandered their potential? Perhaps I’m wrong, but a lot of people throw Riddick Bowe into this category. They talk about how phenomenal he was in his first fight with Holyfield (and he was phenomenal) or his title defense against Jesse Ferguson. They say things like “he could be lazy, soft, and at times a glutton, but for that one night he had no equal”. A bit dramatic? Or is there something to that? I also hear Naseem Hamed talked about like that. I hear stories about his talent, but also stories of how he sometimes cut corners in his training or just plain slacked off. True?

Now there are some guys who raised hell, partied, and caroused while still turning in great performances and having long careers. That being said, do you think they still could’ve been even BETTER or GREATER if they’d taken things more seriously? In boxing, I hear people talk about Roberto Duran like this. In sports like baseball and basketball, a lot of people say the same about Mickey Mantle and Dennis Rodman respectively. Who are their boxing equivalents?

Does it anger or upset you to see incredible god-given talent wasted on the occasional… being blunt here… idiot? Are there guys who make you roll your eyes and question why such talent was wasted on such a fool/ brat/ moron?
Greg K.

Bread’s Response: Great Question. I’ve learned to accept squandered talent. But squandered opportunities does still bug me.

Before I start I want to point out that there is a talent in DISCIPLINE and FOCUS. Some people may have physical talent but they don’t have discipline and focus. I have seen fighters who truly want to be great. They have AMBITION. And they conflate the definition of AMBITION and DISCIPLINE. They also don’t acknowledge their lack of focus. I have seen world class fighters have full blown conversations on their cell phones from the dressing room of their fights. I have seen them stop in the middle of their gym workouts to have full blown conversations about things that don’t pertain to boxing. And those fighters will tell you how dedicated they are to boxing, not realizing they lack focus. They will gain 30-40lbs between fights and then talk about how hard they trained to get the weight off but not acknowledge they lacked DISCIPLINE in gaining 30-40lbs in the first place. It’s an interesting dynamic on how fighters justify certain things. And yes you’re correct it drives me crazy if I’m affiliated with the fighter. Because the little things come back to bite you and them.

I think Riddick Bowe got what he got out of his talent. I know that sounds weird but if he were more dedicated then he wouldn’t be Riddick Bowe. His name would be Larry Holmes or Lennox Lewis. Feel me? Dedication, focus and discipline are talents. Bowe burned himself out because even though heavyweights don’t have to make a weigh in weight. He gained too much in between fights and it took a toll on him physically. He also took a lot of punishment from Evander Holyfield, Herbie Hide and Andrew Golota. So we got what we got out of him. A great fighter but not an ATG because he didn’t have the longevity. Discipline and not abusing your body allows you to have longevity. Bowe was done by 1996-97 and he wasn’t even 30 years old. In contrast people discredit Roy Jones his Olympic teammate for not lasting longer but Jones’s prime lasted until 2004 and they were the same age.

I don’t know about Prince Naseem’s training. But I do feel as though his style doesn’t promote longevity. He was short. He fought unconventional. And his defense was leaky. As you get older it becomes harder to make weight. Hamed would have gotten hurt if he fought at 130 or 135 as an ageing fighter in his 30s. Much like Gamboa is getting hurt right now.

The difference between Floyd Mayweather and Zab Judah is the same difference between Andre Ward and Andre Direll. Judah and Direll seem equal to Mayweather and Ward physically. Actually I think Judah and Direll are better punchers. They seem have to all of the physical gifts that Mayweather and Ward have. But Mayweather and Ward seem much more discipline and focused. Even their styles seem more focused on an objective where as Judah and Direll fight more off of talent. It’s really interesting when you think about it.

The fighter that I think missed the biggest opportunity that I have seen was Francisco Bojado. I saw him very early in his career and I thought to myself that I was watching Oscar De La Hoya Part 2. I saw him a few fights later and he had loose flesh, his trigger pull was slower and he had rapidly declined as a fighter. I have no idea what happened. But he was probably the most talented kid that I had seen that didn’t even make it to challenge for a world title.

But here is the thing. If every person was able to buy a house there would be no landlords. And if every fighter was meant to be great then everyone would have double digit losses. There are levels for a reason. And not everyone is able to make it to the special places. As I’ve gotten older and wiser I’ve learned ACCEPTANCE.

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