Daily Bread Mailbag: Canelo-Crawford, Broner, Fury, Charlo-Tszyu, More

Boxing Scene

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as four division champion Adrien Broner, WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Jermell Charlo vs. Tim Tszyu, Showtime’s greatest fights, Gennadiy Golovkin, and more.

Greetings Breadman,

It’s been a minute since writing in, but you’re still highly anticipated and much appreciated EVERY Saturday morning! Love the work you’re doing with Caleb, man! He looked slick and vicious vs Dirrell and gave Benevidez hell in a losing effort, so down to the burger he would’ve made Rocky Balboa proud! I’m sure you’re inundated with Crawford-Spence, Canelo-Charlo emails, so thought I’d go in a completely different direction. It’s probably a year and a half- 2 years now, but you responded in the Mail Bag (thanks by the way) to thoughts I had about AB and finding myself going from rooting against to genuinely rooting for, AB, hoping the guy could turn things around and start winning again, at life as well as in the ring.

We agreed that he was an uber talent and you pointed out that at one time you had him at the top of your list for best finishers of active boxers.  But as far as where he would go from there, at that point, was really anyone’s guess. I would not have predicted the move he made (or was forced to make), but I’ve got to say, I think signing with Don King was absolutely brilliant and I wanted to get your take on why I think that, because my rationale pertains more to the business side of the sport than it does to the pound-for-pound list and who’s a future atg. It seems to me that AB had a unique relationship with Al, as he got more chances than anyone I’ve ever seen who wasn’t a son of a boxing legend, in terms of paydays and opportunities. However, at the same time, I’ve never seen such a marketable cash cow in this era thrown into the fire in fights they were as likely to lose as win.

Paulie represented an opportunity for AB to jump 2 weight-classes and assure himself of HoF contention by capturing a legit WW title, but his very next fight was with a stone cold killer in Maidana, followed by a former amateur middleweight and BIG WW in Shawn Porter, a Mikey Garcia fighting at his absolute apex (while AB was in a slump), and ATG Manny Pacquiao. I’m not blaming Al for AB’s decline, as I believe that to be mostly mental (which produced the physical problems like drinking, adding to his weight problems and legal troubles), but he wasn’t given the soft touches that fighters of his status are usually afforded, in order to get their confidence back up and to get back in the winners column.

Don King on the other hand, is as good as I’ve ever seen at building up a fighter’s confidence while creating the optics that “he’s back in form” while the fighter picks up some decent purses without getting hurt or risking an L. I’m thinking specifically about the last run Tyson had after his suspension for the Holyfield rematch. Tyson was fighting on PPV, getting 7-8 figure paydays, knocking out guys we’ve never heard of, looking ferocious doing it, and threatening Lennox Lewis in every post-fight interview until there was enough interest in staging the “superfight.”  But if you think about it, he hadn’t fought anyone since the Holyfield rematch that warranted that shot. But Don did a great job of positioning Tyson for that last HUGE payday without really doing anything to earn it.  I can see AB and Don potentially continuing these fights down in Florida with subpar competition (and I genuinely hope they do), and AB having an opportunity to make some decent money, not Pacquiao money of course, but enough while he assesses what he really has left without having to deal with a young, hungry, over-confident killer. If he discovers he doesn’t have “it” anymore, he can still make a living for a while on the name and reputation he earned, without getting hurt or embarrassed.  I wish him all the very best with that and I’m happy for him that King cared enough to want to help him, and saw the opportunity for both of them to make some money via smart matchmaking. What are your thoughts, Bread?    

Bread’s Response: I don’t think AB was thrown to the wolves. I think he was strategically MOVED and he was afforded opportunities that most fighters would die for. Al Haymon did one of the best jobs in history of getting a fighter paid on a big platform, relative to Broner’s accomplishments. So let’s look at his resume before we say things that aren’t true. 

He struggled vs Daniel Ponce De Leon as a prospect/contender. He was brought right back vs Jason Litzau on HBO and scored a big 1st rd ko. Often times when fighters struggle, they get sat down for a minute. Broner was brought right back. Then he fought for a vacant title vs Vincente Rodriguez for his 1st world title. He was the favorite…Immediately after that he got to defend his title vs Eloy Perez in what was an easy fight. Again on HBO. Right after that he fought Vincente Escobedo in his hometown of Cincinatti and he came in 3lbs over weight. I remember these things because I really admired how much of a brutal finisher Broner was. I was witnessing his rise in boxing and I thought highly of him. 

Then, Immediately after the Escobedo fight he got to headline again on HBO vs Antonio Demarco for his second world title at lightweight in his career best performance. Broner was just 23 years old and he was already a 2 division champion and had headlined multiple HBO shows. In contrast look how many fighters who are in there mid to late 20s, just as talented as a Broner and have yet to receive those type of opportunities just yet.

Three months later he’s defending his belt again vs Gavin Rees. For the record Broner was a big favorite on All of his fights through his ascension. Not once did he have to take a 50/50 fight or go up against a P4P level fighter.

Now here where things got a little dicey. He skipped 140lbs in his next fight and took on Paulie Malignaggi. I believe that Broner’s brain trust believed he would handle Malignaggi easier than he did and he shouldn’t have had a Split Decision vs Malignaggi. I really respect Paulie as a fighter but I’m assuming the thinking was if we jump 2 weight divisions, we do it vs a non puncher. Paulie wasn’t a puncher, especially at 147lbs.  I don’t know if it was a mistake or not but Broner never made 135lbs again. Looking back, I do think he left 135 too early because he looked so good vs Demarco. Nevertheless he was at welterweight. 

So he picked Marcos Maidana after he won the title. I think Maidana was a killer also but in 2013 Maidana was at a career cross roads. He was the guy who had lost to Amir Khan and Devon Alexander. He was comprehensively outboxed by Alexander who trained with Broner. Broner and Alexander had a strong connection through Kevin Cunningham, Broner’s current trainer. Broner was the favorite in the fight vs Maidana. We have to remember the details…So Maidana goes on a career best performance run and beats Broner. 

Right after that Broner gets 2 comeback fights at 140lbs against opponents he was the BIG favorite against again. Then he gets to fight John Molina in one of the first BIG PBC shows in 2015. Molina is a solid fighter, with a big punch. But Broner won easy. After that Broner does have to take a tough fight vs Shawn Porter. But we have to examine the details again. 

They needed big names to headline the PBC shows.  But The fight was at a catchweight of 144lbs. Porter was an amateur at 165lbs and had moved down to 147lbs as a pro. Tell me who the catchweight benefitted? Broner or Porter? I will answer…Broner!

He loses to Porter and in his very next fight 4 months later he’s fighting again for a vacant title at 140lbs vs Khabib Allakhverdiev to become a 4 division champion. OPPORTUNITES!!Right after that he fights Ashley Theophane and comes in heavy AGAIN. He wins the fight but loses his title on the scale again. Remember this a man who started at 130lbs. He’s now at 140lbs. He’s missed weight at 130lbs and 140lbs. But he’s probably too small to be a top welterweight. So is management is matching him accordingly…

So what happens. He gets to fight Adrian Granados at welterweight. He wins and he gets a BIG PPV payday vs a prime Mikey Garcia. Yes that’s a tough fight for Broner but look at all of the fights I named in between this type of fight. I don’t think Broner fighting Garcia on PPV is being thrown to the wolves. If Broner had to fight Errol Spence around that time I would’ve considered it a “feeding”. But Garcia is closer to his size and it was a big fight. There is a thing called ROI, Return On the Investment. He loses to Mikey Garcia and in his next fight he fights Jesse Vargas and the fight is ruled a draw. I thought Broner won by the way. 

So he’s rewarded with another title shot at welterweight vs Manny Pacquiao. Pacman is 40 at the time!! Broner is 29. Yes Manny is great but Broner got a huge PPV fight vs a legend in a winnable fight. Broner loses and is off for a 2 years. But comes back on a card in the COVID vs Jovanie Santiago. Santiago is a career 140lber and Broner fights him at welterweight. It’s a very close fight but Broner gets the decision. I talk in a detailed and specific manner. 

I’m not saying Broner’s career was perfect. I think only special fighters can jump from 135 to 147 and be great. Henry Armstrong, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosely, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and recently Terence Crawford have all proven to be ATG or great fighters. Looking back, that was too big of expectations on Broner. But in 2012-13 he was looked at as special so they took a shot at 147lbs. He struggled but he was never punished for not performing great. He still got great opportunities after missing weight, having poor performances or even losing. He’s looked at as a 4 division champion and in each of the fights where he won the title he was a BIG favorite. Al Haymon did one of the greatest managerial jobs in history of moving Broner. I respect Broner. I like him as a fighter. He was a super talent. But he was never thrown to the wolves. He was cared for and managed well. 

Just because towards the end he had to take tough fights that doesn’t mean he was FED. I don’t know everything that happened behind the scenes but I’m telling you fighters would cut off their left pinky to get the Broner treatment. And just imagine this, he got all of this by the time he was in his early 30s. I would imagine he has earned about 25-30Ms in his career, he’s won 4 division titles, his best win is Antonio Demarco which is a solid win but far from a great one and he was the underdog only 3x in his career vs Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao. That’s a well managed career if you ask me. Broner didn’t have to run through a brick wall in order to get paid. And he was paid well.

In terms of what Don King can do for Broner. Let’s see. He’s only fought once under King so far and I don’t know what he’s making or not making. In my opinion it’s too early to say if he’s been treated good or bad. As far as easy fights to build himself back up. Haymon did that for Broner several times over. Let’s see how much King is willing to invest in a 34 yr old fighter. Again for the record, I don’t claim to know anything behind the scenes. But on the surface from what I could see, I feel as though Broner’s treatment was very, very good with Haymon. The book just opened with King. We also have to objectively look at King’s current resources. He doesn’t have the BIG names in his stable to fight Broner. So it may look like lesser fights he’s getting for Broner but that’s all he has. I have nothing against Don King, but I’m just taking a look at the total circumstances. 

At least, Canelo-Charlo was a boxing match. But Fury-Ngannou, come on! And for me, Floyd Mayweather Jr, as much as I respect him, remains tied with Rocky Marciano at 49-0. You can’t go 50-0 against someone that’s never boxed before, let alone been at the elite level, especially when you are an ATG like Floyd is. Mismatches disguised as daring to be great when they are nothing but a grab for money, and reigning world champions who are at the elite level but fight these so-called cross-over fights make a mockery of boxing and suck the life-blood out of it. It’s hardly surprising that, soon after my unpublished mail, Showtime followed HBO in exiting the sport. If a sport is busy killing itself, I would see no reason why I should remain invested in it myself. For the record, I didn’t wake up early hours of Sunday morning here in South Africa to tune in for Canelo-Charlo like I do with real fights and I only watched the recording my son made of it once.

Charlo was a disgrace and I think Bud Crawford tests Canelo far more than he did and maybe even beats him, small though he is. Usain Bolt had nothing on Charlo and that’s the only reason he went the distance. I think Bud Crawford wipes the floor just as easily with Charlo as he did with Errol Spence Jr. Maybe even easier. I saw once where Fury tried to justify the Ngannou nonsense by citing Muhammad Ali-Antonio Inoki. In case he doesn’t know, Ali was no longer the force he was at the time, his last hurrah having been the Thrilla in Manila. Fury, on the other hand, is supposed to be at the summit of the heavyweight division. He’s a disgrace, full stop. Your sentiments? Lastly, the year started with sumptuous offerings but is closing with leftovers. I don’t know if you agree. At least, the first half of the year more than compensates. My mystical matchup was Lupe Pintor against Monster Inuoe at Bantamweight. I felt Pintor was underrated and underappreciated and I see him as being to rugged and tough for Inuoe. If you also look at the quality of opponents he faced, it’s chalk and cheese between him and Inuoe. It’s not Inuoe’s fault that he has fought in an inferior era but I don’t think the fights he’s had prepare him for what Pintor could bring to the table. Your views?

Keep punching Sir.

KatlholoJohannesburg, South Africa. 

Bread’s Response: You predicted Canelo vs Charlo correctly. But I disagree that it was a money grab going into the fight. I think Jermell Charlo really wanted to win. He’s a prideful guy and I can tell he put a lot into his camp. No one wants to lose badly in front of their, woman, kids and parents. I didn’t even mention the fans. I still stand on this. Canelo was more than Jermell imagined and once he realized it was too late. I don’t think Jermell underestimated Canelo, I just don’t think he realized how good Canelo really is. But it’s no need to argue over Charlo’s motives. Neither of us is a mind reader. The result is the result.

I wish fighters stopped using Ali to justify their claims. Ali fought two eras worth of killers without ONE miss. In an era where 32 was OLD. Ali’s name should NEVER be brought up when it comes to justifying someone else’s doings. What drives me crazy is the person doing these interviews never checks these guys when they talk about Ali. Ali cleared out his era so he fought a money exhibition vs Inoki. It didn’t count on his record. And he didn’t have any worthy challenges that he MISSED, while fighting Inoki. CONTEXT!!!

I think Tyson Fury is a great fighter. But the truth is he’s had not one but two lackluster title reigns. He fought Wilder 3x and Klitschko once. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. But the fights have been so spread out with so many more available BIG fights to be made, that Fury can only blame himself if his legacy doesn’t match his ability. 

The end of the year is always slower than the beginning because of the budgets. Most times, the money is used up earlier because it’s more available. I’m not going to complain about 2023. This was a fine year of fighting. Pintor is criminally underrated. I think he would be a handful for anyone since him at 118lbs. But I view Pintor as an excellent fighter, who is HOF worthy. I view Inoue as a generational talent. Pintor has an all around, savvy game that doesn’t jump off the screen. You have to see him matched vs a great fighters to appreciate him. But he can’t fight Inoue. So, We can only do the hypothetical match up. And just thinking about it. Inoue is a little too fast and talented for Pintor in my opinion.

There has always been a media narrative that televised boxing in the United States is on the verge of death. I’ve been reading that take my entire life and never believed it. I think I believe that take now. Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery have decided there’s no benefit to televise boxing. The Fox Corporation seems to silently agree as it doesn’t have any fights scheduled for the rest of the year. The Walt Disney company and NBC Universal prefer to have boxing on apps, unless it’s a massive event. How concerned should fans be about non-PPV boxing disappearing from standard United States television all together? I think it’s on the verge of happening. Thank you for your take!

-Chris

Bread’s Response: Boxing always finds a way. Let’s hope it continues too….

Hi,

Tzsyu looks likes like nothing special but he gets the job done.  I was very impressed by his patience and calm.  How do you think he would do against Charlo if the fight was in January?

Thanks! Stephen, Montréal

Bread’s Response: Tszyu is very composed. He’s subtle. He may not be the puncher that he thinks he is, but he can punch. He has a very good body punch. He’s found a way to counter while coming forward. He has a 2 fisted attack. He’s very efficient in terms of energy output. Tim Tszyu can fight!

Tszyu has grown on me. When I saw him vs Terrell Gausha, I thought Gausha was going to stop him after he dropped him. Tszyu gave me the impression he was open all night for that counter right hand. But he seemed to grow up in that fight. He’s not a defensive specialist but his defense is much better since. He’s improved in each fight after the Gausha fight. If he makes the necessary adjustments he has to make in terms of TRAVELING away from home and fighting, then he’s going to be a handful. I think Tszyu vs Charlo is a 50/50 fight if it happens next and I can’t make a pick until I see what kind of camps each is having.

Such a shame to see Showtime leaving boxing. Outside of the obvious (Floyd, Corralles-Castillo, Tyson, Chavez-Taylor) what are your favorite Showtime fights? Holyfield had some real dope fights in the late 80s early 90s. At least Showtime is going out with a bang Thurman-Stanionis (still holding out hope Keith fights Crawford) and Lara-Garcia. Lastly who are your top boxer punchers, technicians who have that aggressive style at times? Off the rip SRL Crawford, Hearns, 130-135  Floyd come to my mind. 

Bread’s Response: Favorite Showtime Fights….

Tyson vs Ruddock 

Holyfield vs Dokes 

Corrales vs Castillo 

Benn vs McClellan( I hate the ending)

Nelson vs Fenech II 

Chavez vs Randall 

Brown vs Norris 1 

Vasquez vs Marquez III 

Tito vs Campas  

Maidana vs Broner

Jackson vs McClellan 1

My favorite style of fighter is a boxer puncher with an aggressive style. Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Terence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, Salvador Sanchez, Evander Holyfield, James Toney, Donald Curry, Mark Too Sharp Johnson, Nonito Donaire and Jaron Ennis stand out to me in the style you speak of. 

How can one explain a fighter like GGG, 400+ fights and NEVER touched the canvas? Legend  Who would you favor GGG in his prime (27-30 year old fighting in Europe) vs Hagler?  Thoughts on Haney vs Prograis? Prediction?  Do you have Boots and David Morrell in the same class of fighter? I have them as the top 2 best contender prospects in all of Boxing.  Thoughts on Jermall Charlo’s comeback fight against Jose Benavidez?  Best way for a fighter to cut 4-6 lbs the day before weigh ins?            

ASP from NC

Bread’s Response: GGG has a great chin and great awareness. He knows HOW to take a punch and he’s rarely out of position to take a big shot. His chin is down, his hands are up and his eyes are on his opponent so he doesn’t get cracked with something he doesn’t see. GGG has an ATG chin. Some of it is genetic. Some of it is conditioning. Some of it is fundamentals on HOW to take a punch. He has all 3.

I would favor Hagler over GGG but not by a landslide. Hagler is a little more fluid with his feet. And a little more athletic. I don’t think either could stop the other, so Hagler by hard fought decision.

GGG was cheated out of being greater historically. If he would’ve came over here earlier before he was 30, he would’ve been bigger. And he would’ve gotten the decision in the 1st fight with Canelo that he earned he would be viewed differently.

I like both Regis and Devin. I feel like Devin has the momentum going into the fight. Devin just fought a great southpaw in Loma. So that’s back to back camps vs southpaws. Very smart matchmaking. Regis struggled vs a lesser fighter in his last fight. For whatever that’s worth. Sometimes fighters fight down to the level. However, Devin has the edge as far as timing. I don’t know if Regis had a bad night or if he’s slipping. 

I’m a big Regis fan, I think he’s the truth. But when I watch him I feel like sometimes he gets caught in between styles. Regis is a heavy handed technician like Hagler with an all around game. But Hagler picked the right style for the most part with the exception being the Leonard fight. Regis hasn’t faced that level of competition yet but when I watch him he seems to do too much at times. 

For example vs Josh Taylor, Regis was slipping punches well but he was taking himself out of position and he wasn’t countering Taylor as much as he could’ve and in a razor close fight, that cost you.

The best I’ve seen Regis was against Juan Heraldez, he looked great that night. Sometimes it’s a curse to be able to do multiple things because it can confuse fighters that don’t know what to pull out of their bag of tricks. It’s a like a restaurant with 100 things on the menu and you only have a short amount of time to decide what to order. Even though they’re all good, it can cause decision anxiety. Same thing in boxing…

Regis is a strong 140lber. But he has very short arms. Devin has very long arms. It’s not the end all because there are plenty of great short armed fighters. Lomachenko is one. But if you have short arms you need good feet to bring you in and out of range, or you need to be dog strong like Rocky Marciano. Regis will have to make the right choice of style and he’s going to have to apply it at the right time. 

It’s a very close fight but in assessing it I feel like Devin will try to establish his jab, throw slashing right hands to the southpaw body, and  simply box. With Regis I don’t know if he’s going to try to just dog Devin out. Or will he mix in a little James Toney in his game. Which he’s shown in the past. It’s good to be able to do multiple things but what’s not good if you don’t know when to do them. 

Right now I don’t have a pick but I do have an assessment. As for Devin , againthe fight strongly favors him in terms of timing. And although Devin is a great boxer, he’s not unhittable. Regis has those hard fist. I once saw a video of him punching tires with small leather old school gloves on. Regis will have more physicality than any opponent that Devin has ever faced. I’m curious to see how Devin deals with a fighter who can really hurt him. I don’t consider Regis a Tank Davis level 1 shot puncher. But he has those hard, heavy hands, that accumulate and damage fighters. Again similar to Hagler who scored a bunch of beatdown kos. 

From my research Regis wasn’t a great amateur in terms of scoring points. I can see that. Devin turned pro early but his long snappy jab and scoring mentality, lead me to believe he will have a big advantage outside. Amateur pedigree often dictates who wins the early boxing rounds. I can see Devin controlling the action early. But my question is, how patient will Regis be. If Regis has success early and really cracks Devin early, I think he has a great chance to win. But if he’s caught in between styles and he allows Devin to catch a rhythm it’s a hard fight for him. Excellent match up and props to both for taking it.

Boots and Morrell are similar but I know more about Boots. But I can see them both being in the same class as of right now.

I think Jermall Charlo vs Jose Benavidez is a good fight. Jose Jr looked good in my opinion in his last fight. He has a great sparring partner in his brother. He’s been more active than Charlo. On their best days I think Charlo would win. But who knows if he’s still at his best. I don’t know. Charlo to me is an athletic fighter, with sound fundamentals but not freaky talent. There is a difference in being a freak talent and a very good athlete. I can see Charlo being rusty because skill is fed with repetition and he hasn’t been feeding his skill for over 2 years. 

Charlo should win but I really wouldn’t be surprised if he struggled a little bit. I don’t think Benavidez is a big puncher at 160lbs, so Charlo may be able to get comfortable in there without feeling a big risk of getting clipped. That’s a good thing for him. But when you haven’t been hit in over 2 years without a headgear, who knows how he will feel. Right now I say 60/40 in Charlo’s favor but the early rounds may be a little slow until he warms himself up.

The Game is to be Sold, Not to be Told. I don’t want to get into cutting weight on an open forum. But 4-6lbs is not a big deal. I’ve cut that off of fighters dozens of times.

Sup Bread, I wanted to get your take on Tim Tszyu’s win vs Brian Mendoza. I was definitely impressed with Mendoza‘s chin, but more impressed with the mental pressure of Tszyu who reminded me of a younger GGG . GGG would walk down an opponent and eventually catch them with a kill shot and Tszyu’s pressure appeared to bother Mendoza. Mendoza is super tough though and never quit but to my eyes Tszyu looks like the real deal and I wanted your thoughts on his performance, the comparison to GGG and his chances against the champions in his weight class .As a trainer do you put much weight into the walk in music that your fighters choose or do you leave it totally up to them? I remember when Tyson would come in to ‘welcome to the Terrordome ‘ and it just set the tone for destruction but it seems like every boxer hast to be escorted in by a rapper nowadays Finally, do you see things in slow motion from your perspective and from your experience? I remember sitting ringside for my first fight, and I couldn’t believe how quick the punches were when you’re up close so I wonder if over time things slow down for you because of all the sparring and bouts you sat in the corner for which allows you to see everything.

Take care, Aaron from Cleveland.

Bread’s Response: Things definitely slow down over time. I look at fights from a different perspective. The more experience you have the more you will see. I think Mendoza fought well. But I thought he would engage and attack more but something tells me that Tszyu had something to do with that. Tszyu does remind me of GGG. He doesn’t have GGG’s jab or raw power. But he has his calmness and big presence in the ring. He also may be quicker off the draw. Tszyu’s right hand is a laser. And his left hook to the body is crippling and very fast to the point. 

Hello Breadman ,                          

The Tszyu Mendoza fight was a Great fight . Action packed throughout . My question is where does Tszyu go from here . He should get his shot at Charlo . They were actually signed to fight , and their fight had a date . It seems that Tszyu should have been first in line for Charlo . Their fight did not get postponed , it got cancelled . Do you think they fight down the road . My second question is will Charlo fight Crawford . And which is the bigger fight , Crawford or Tszyu . I think both Crawford and Tszyu can beat Jermell Charlo . Would love to see both fights . My third question is about brothers fighting on the same card . Both David and Jose Benavidez Jr are fighting on the same card .

David is fighting Andrade , Jose is fighting Jermall Charlo . I keep going back when Ali fought Jerry Quarry and his brother Mike Quarry was almost decapitated by Bob Foster . This had to have an effect on Jerry . He didn’t perform well that night . I don’t think it is a good idea , too much emotion and feeling involved . This can be a bad distraction. Would love to hear you insight and thoughts on this .                                                                                                                                      

Thank You                                                                                          

J.B.

Bread’s Response: I think David wanted his brother on his card. In this climate you have to take every date you can. And with his dad training both, I think it’s easier to have them fight together instead of having to split camps. Obviously if Jose gets beat bad, it would suck for the locker room energy. But fighters are optimistic. They think they will win. It can be a distraction but it can also boost your momentum. A fighter has to be confident and an optimist. If you tell a fighter to do a move and he says well I may get knocked out throwing that punch. That fighter has a mental glitch that will show up under pressure. If David said I don’t want my brother on my card because if he loses it will effect me, then it’s mental glitch. It may be true but a fighter can’t think like that. A fighter has to be willing to overcome anything. Anything!!Great question by the way, I just don’t know if David is even thinking like that….

What’s up Breadman!

Short and to the point. Terrance Crawford moves up and dominates Canelo in similar fashion to his last fight. Retires shortly after with no more fights. Does that put him on Mount Rushmore?

Thanks, SB

Bread’s Response: Another good question. I don’t know. I think he’s already an ATG. Jumping from 147-168 and beating another ATG would definitely move him up the ATG list. But Mt. Rushmore is an exclusive place. Right now I will say it would move him into the top 10-20 All Time but I would have to see the performance to truly evaluate. If he looks like he did vs Spence, then my goodness. If he stops Canelo! I wouldn’t argue with anyone that had him on Mt. Rushmore but there is a lot of room between the cup and the lip. Before you lock me into a statement let’s see them fight first.

Hey Bread – Hope you and the family are well.  I responded to a fun Tweet by Paulie Malignaggi asking about which NFL players fans thought would be the best boxer.  I’m assuming he meant current players but I responded with a recently retired player who I think wouldn’t come to mind for many but if I was a trainer, I think this particular player possesses many of the characteristics required to excel in the ring.  Before I give my breakdown, are there any athletes you’ve watched compete in their respective sports that you think are good candidates to compete in the ring.  If so who comes to mind and what catches your eye about them? My answer was Tom Brady for many reasons…the caveat would be this assumes he loved boxing as much as he did football and brought the same level of commitment and dedication.

Now although he is not possessed with great athleticism there have been many great boxers who were not great athletes.  

Hand speed.  TB has a lightning quick release and it is well trained…that is one part of the equation which helped him get the ball out faster than any NFL QB to have ever played the game.  

Mobility.  Brady lacks straight line speed no doubt but I would argue he was incredibly mobile within the pocket and had very educated feet.  You referenced this is your last mailbag relating to Canelo’s footwork.  The ‘pocket’ in football is close quarters and is a much more relevant work environment than lane 2 on a track as I know you understand well.

Quickness of the mind. Again…nobody has ever processed the game faster than he did…he was gifted and also worked relentlessly at it…this to me would translate to high ring IQ.

Toughness.  He missed time for injury once in a 20+ year career at a position where they literally change the rules continuously to keep those guys upright.  He played hurt a lot and had the mental toughness to overcome pain…a huge requirement inside the ring. He was Mean.  You don’t win at the level he did without being a killer…he was an absolute assassin and was merciless .

Physicality.  This is an interesting one because although he ‘appeared’ to be the wrong body type for football…not muscled up, etc. he and his team looked at traditional methods, flipped them on their head and devised his own plan to ensure he was able to stay on the field.  Translating it to boxing I believe he would have shaped his physique in whatever way was required to compete at the highest level.

Dedication.  He is amongst the handful of most prepared athletes to ever compete.  I think he would have put in the work, the long lonely monotonous work that it takes for a boxer to become elite. Clutch Gene. The Charlo factor that you often talk about. The common argument is that Aaron Rodgers would have won as many titles with Belichick and those Pats teams. Maybe…but I don’t believe that.  I give him 4 tops…it took a different kind of cat to win those Seattle and Atlanta games…few athletes in history have that level of clutch/mental toughness those situations required.

 – THOM SERRA

Bread’s Response: You know I just had a similar conversation with a boxer. I think he got offended because I said that a marginal athlete can earn a living in boxing if he’s tough and disciplined and if he’s connected and promoted right. Where as in the NFL or NBA there are so many measurables that get evaluated, it’s much harder to make it. I went on to say, you have to be a special athlete to be Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones. BUT to JUST earn a living in boxing, you don’t have to be a special athlete. 

I won’t give examples but because I don’t like insulting fighters but we see it every day in boxing. In football you have guys benching 400lbs and running a 4.5 40yd dash that can’t get on a NFL team. You have basketball players who averaged 40pts/game in high school but can even go D1 yet alone the NBA. The dynamics are different to just go pro. 

It doesn’t mean that boxing is easy. By no means is it easy. In fact It’s extremely hard. And the character and toughness you need to compete is unparalleled. But the system can be manipulated more than other pro sports, therefore you don’t need to be a dominant athlete. You have boxers who tried other sports like football and basketball, didn’t make it in those sports and then decided to box late and had success. It’s rare that you see a boxer, box until he’s say 17-18, then say ok I’m going to go to the NBA or NFL and MAKE it. The dynamics are so different…I can go on about this. 

But..let me answer you specifically. Tom Brady may not be ATHLETIC but he is a great ATHLETE. His work ethic, mental processing, fast reaction time, and skillful accurate throwing makes him a great athlete. He’s just not a fast runner or high jumper. Or freakishly strong. Brady reminds me of Larry Bird in basketball. A great athlete without being super athletic. 

I believe there are several football players who could be boxers if they started out boxing earlier and boxing was their main sport instead of football. I know you want me to name specific and I will but I’m saying several football players could earn a living boxing. Have you seen Leveon Bell box, he’s nice. Super nice. 

So specifically I think Jim Brown could have been a great fighter. Fast, athletic, mean, brutally tough and character for days. 

Out of the current players I think Marcus Peters the CB for the Raiders and Jalen Ramsey the CB for the Dolphins could be top level fighters if they started boxing at say 15. I bet both of them could run a 100M sprint in under 11 seconds. That’s marginal for a world class track athlete. But for a boxer that’s FLYING!!! I would bet that less than 1% of the world’s pro boxers right now could run a 100M sprint in less that 11 seconds.  I would also bet that less than 1% of the current boxers could not run a 400M in less that 55 seconds. 

Boxing is an endurance based sport so the football player would have to pick up their endurance. But endurance can be built. One of the reasons that Strength and Conditioning started to kick in about 20 years ago in boxing, was because fighters saw the work that track, NFL and NBA players were doing. So the HIIT training, explosive work etc took over boxing conditioning so they could become better athletes. Now imagine a freak athlete who can play in the NFL, but decided to box. Then you have guys Roy Jones who could play free safety in the NFL or Gervonta Davis if he was a little taller could be running back. Davis is small but if he was in the NFL he would lift weights and he would be 180lbs. Not 135lbs. 

When a fighter has freak athleticism to go along with the toughness and heart that’s needed to box. Usually you have a HOF level talent that ascends very quickly. 

Quick story for an example: My nephew was an excellent high school football player playing Free Safety. But because of grades and the measurables he didn’t get a D1 scholarship. He started boxing late as a teen. And won 2 National titles in less than 20 amateur fights. He then came up to Philly to train with me. His boxing skills were solid but he needed work. But because football requires so much athleticism especially from the skill positions, he was so much more athletic than my fighters he was able to hold his own. 

Without his body being familiar with the workouts we did, he outsprinted and outran all of my fighters by a considerable margin. What I found was his athleticism for D1 football was solid. But for a boxer it was off the charts. I thought to myself if my fighters had my nephew’s athleticism, or if he had their experience and skill I would have a SUPER FIGHTER. 

Another Great Question.

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