Daily Bread Mailbag: Crawford-Porter, Scott Training Wilder, More

Boxing Scene

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Malik Scott training former world champion Deontay Wilder, Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter, the lightweight foursome being called the New Four Kings, more. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Bread,

I just think Malik Scott is more cheerleader than trainer. Not only does Fury have a mental edge because he just knocked Wilder out. But his corner is so much better, I just can’t see how Wilder wins. 

Bread’s Response: I disagree. There are certain things you can’t fake. I know a real trainer when I see one. Malik Scott is passionate, knowledgeable and he’s doing a good job. I think Malik Scott has Wilder engaged and ready. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of Malik Scott as long as Wilder believes in him and is willing to try and practice whatever Scott implements, then they will have success. 

I have seen trainers tell fighters to do unorthodox things, things that looked silly. But the fighter believed it and made it work. Imagine what people said about Enzo Calzaghe before his son became a world champion. Or what they said about the Ingle’s before their first elite fighter broke through. Or better yet Cus D’mato with his peek a boo style and numbers system?

What you guys don’t get, is everything a trainer tells a fighter is MEANT to work. It’s just that some fighters can carry it out and some can’t. The more a fighter believes it, the better his chances he can achieve it. I think Malik Scott has Wilder’s mind and spirit. And also believe that Tyson Fury will have a hard day at the office come October 9th, if the fight even comes off.

Greetings brother,

As always, thank you for your insightful analysis and predictions. Speaking of predictions, I’m choosing to be bold and brave and bet against you.

Crawford vs Porter is now official. I know you like Crawford and he’s been at the top of P4P debate for a while now but if the Porter that fought Spence shows up, I’m betting he will STOP Crawford. Porter is the only boxer in recent memory that somehow manages to outshine his opponents despite (narrowly) losing to them.

The question for me is, how does such a win define Porter’s legacy in your eyes? Does he need two more defining fights to be in the HoF/ATG debate? Also, how would you view his career compared to Crawford?

Much thanks, Khalid Low

Bread’s Response: You’re the 1st person who asked me about Crawford vs Porter. I never made a prediction before. I believe that Crawford is a HOF fighter. I think he’s at the top of the food chain. But anyone can lose a fight. He’s not unbeatable. No one is.

Often times throughout history swarmers have given boxer/punchers big trouble. Gene Fullmer to Ray Robinson. Iran Barkely to Tommy Hearns. Marcos Maidana to Floyd Mayweather. So Shawn has a shot. Right now I view the fight as 65/35 in Crawford’s favor in terms of likely outcome, not so much a prediction. But I think the fight will be competitive. I expect a role reversal though. 

I think Porter will box and move more. Similar to how he fought Danny Garcia and Yordenas Ugas. Crawford is a sharp vicious counter puncher. And his sharpness makes other fighters move away. Shawn found something vs Errol Spence. A good mix of aggression of boxing off the bounce and I expect him to try it vs Crawford. I think Crawford will be the attacker in this fight. 

If Porter beats Crawford and somehow gets one more huge win I do think he would be a HOF because the voters know he took REAL fights. And they wouldn’t hold his 3 narrow losses against him. 

Right now I think Shawn Porter has had an excellent career. But let’s not forget Terence Crawford won the RING title at 135. The RING title and all 4 belts at 140. And the WBO title at 147. Crawford has beaten the best available fighter for 8 years and he has NEVER come close to losing in almost 40 fights. He’s a great fighter who’s trying to be an ATG. Shawn has fought better competition but Crawford has had a better career so far. You have to remember it’s easier for Shawn to get fights than it is Crawford. But let’s see how they finish…..Their careers are not over.

I do however want to give Shawn attribution for being the 1st PBC A list fighter at 147 to cross the street and fight Terence Crawford. That deserves major props. Crawford is a cold killer and was being avoided and Porter has consistently called him out and asked for the fight. Man, I respect that.

Assalaam alaykum Mr. Edwards,

In the interest of keeping things positive (where I think both you and I would rather focus), I wanted to move away from fighters who’ve tested positive and ask about fighters you know who have gone above and beyond in terms of testing for PEDs.  I know you prefer not to single out the fighters who are suspect (and there’s no need to go over all the fighters who have tested positive), but what about fighters you know who have tested extra just to DO THE RIGHT THING?

Obviously, Nonito Donaire is the GOLD standard as he was enrolled in year-round VADA testing for the majority of his career.  Other boxers I’m aware of that signed up for year-round VADA and/or insisted on lengthy testing periods for their fights are Gennady Golovkin, Julian Williams, Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios, Oleksandr Usyk, and Manny Pacquiao (although, to my knowledge, not recently).  Who else makes the cut?  Am I wrong about any of the above guys?  What other fighters are you aware of who should get props for PROVING that they’re on the level?Thanks for your time and thoughtfulness with the Daily Bread.  Peace and prayers to you and yours.

Ma salaam, John Newman

Bread’s Response: How are you Sir?

I’m sure there are others but Deontay Wilder is also a gold standard of modern testing. He’s caught I think 3 fighters while they were training to fight him. Caleb Plant and Demetrius Andrade also are fighters who demand testing and are outspoken about PEDS. There may be more but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

Hey Bread,

I have viewed several of Larry Holmes’s interviews and he seems to be still somewhat angry and bitter about his place in history. While he credits Ali for giving him work and some things he learned he also, in my opinion, down plays Ali’s greatness. Ali of the 60’s was a beast and in his career he fought a murderers row of heavy weights, Doug Jones, Henry Cooper, Sonny Liston, Cleveland Williams, Ernie Terrell, George Chuvalo, Zora Foley just to name a few from the 60’s. Holmes was tough as nails, no doubt, however his resume was not as deep as Ali’s. I know in the record books he beat Ali, however Ali was past shot. To Holmes credit he did what he had to do. By the way, I don’t watch that fight. Please comment on Holmes attitude, if you can and how do they stack up career vs career, and prime vs prime.

While I’m glad the you tubers and old timers are making some money however the sport is a far cry from what it use to be! Holyfield lost a nice pay day for the optical illusion trilogy fight versus Tyson.

Greg

Bread’s Response: I agree with you. Holmes slights Ali as a fighter. He says things like Ali was a great man but…….When in fact if Ali wasn’t the fighter he was he wouldn’t have had the platform to be the MAN he turned out to be. Before he was revered as a MAN, he was a special fighter. 

If you go by prime eye ball test. Competition faced. Overcoming adversity. Competition missed. Analytics. It doesn’t matter. Ali rates as one of the handful of greatest fighters to have ever lived. Period. I hate it when people say he was a great man but….But what?! He fought the best heavyweights of 2 eras and stood tall over both the 60s and 70s. He literally has NO misses. And in the 2nd era, the 70s. Which was the toughest in history. He was past his best and still was #1. Ali’s credentials are absurd!

There is a myth of the Holmes vs Ali fight that Holmes took it easy on Ali. That’s so not true. He was trying to RIP Ali’s head off with right hand bombs. I’ve seen fighters not go full blast on older greats. This wasn’t the case. Holmes perpetuated this myth by saying he was trying to take it easy on Ali. Holmes had every right to try to knock Ali’s head off. It’s boxing. But just say it. Watch that fight. It made me sick and that’s why Tyson vowed to get revenge for Ali because he KNEW……And revenge he got!

Many fighters are jealous of Ali. Envy is a natural emotion that no one admits to having. It’s tough. Ali is a good looking dude. Chicks dig him. He speaks well. He fights even better. He won a Gold medal. He’s always rated high. He won the title 3x. And he stopped most of his biggest rivals in Liston, Patterson, Foreman and Frazier. If you throw in Moore, Foster, Lyle and Cooper. Ali scored stoppages in most of his biggest wins. He was a MONEY fighter. So his contemporaries get jealous. It’s how life works. George Foreman and Ken Norton are 2 fighters who I felt didn’t have contempt for him. They came to grips as to what he was. But it’s hard. I sensed the same thing you did regarding Holmes. 

Head to Head, Ali’s career is better than Holmes. Holmes has more title defenses but not by a lot. I think he has 20 and Ali has 19 overall. But Ali beat better fighters in their primes and he won the title 3x. It’s just what it is. Ali’s outshines every heavyweight when you put them next to him. I do think Holmes is a top 5 heavyweight and an ATG fighter. Head to head on their best days I think he would give Ali loads of trouble. Loads of trouble. I would pick Ali to win a close decision but it would be tough. But I think Ali would beat more people if all of the best fighters at heavyweight were lined up. Ali was just more gifted of a fighter. He had more god given gifts and he was equally as tough. Both had the hearts of a soldiers storming the beach at Normandy.

Hello from Ireland Breadman.

Been reading your mailbag for the last few years, thanks for the insights. I took up boxing in my late 20s and love the sport, it has been life changing for me mentally and can see how applicable to real life it is. Would recommend to anyone that needs structure and humility. I have two questions.

What would you say are the gaps to fill in for someone who has taken up the sport a little later in life? And does anyone spring to mind in the pro ranks that has done really well in Boxing that started later than most? (I’m aware of Deontay Wilder who really is an inspiring man because of his motivation for doing this)Any insight greatly appreciated.

Sean from Ireland

Bread’s Response: I think fighters who take up boxing late have both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages is they don’t have the wear and tear of long amateur careers. That counts. The disadvantage is the muscle memory that comes with consistently fighting. Some of the best late starters I’ve seen are……Dwight Qawi, Sergio Martinez and Ron Lyle. 

Wussup Bread! Can I get your take on Speedy Rashidi Ellis? I feel bad for the kid because he has skills but something doesn’t seem right with his relationship with Golden Boy. Can you also speak on selecting the right promoter/team? On average, Is PBC the better route for American fighters? Lastly what are your thoughts on this scenario…fighter signs multi-promotional/managerial* deal with PBC*, TR & Matchroom but does not agree to give a network exclusive rights. I see it working where each promoter/manager* always gets a little cut of the pie but the promoter who provides the opponent gets the larger share and gets to chose the network for that fight. Giving the fighter the chance to fight anyone on any network. What challenges would you see with this type of deal? I assume the fighter would have to be a HOT amateur prospect to negotiate such a deal.

Bread’s Response: The selection of the right team is just as important as the talent of the fighter. I have seen more privileged fighters take opponents away from more better fighters because they were more connected. It happens all the time. 

Your hypothetical deal sounds good in theory but only a select and accomplished star fighter can pull that off. So…

I have no idea what happened to Rashidi Ellis. He’s 23-0. He’s 28. And he fights at welterweight which is a stacked division. When I saw him rematch Eddie Gomez who he stopped in 1 round in their 1st fight, I thought it was weird. I didn’t understand that and I never saw that before with a prospect who was the A side. 

I don’t want to speculate because I just don’t know what’s going on with him. But I will say this. If a fighter moves too fast and he struggles, he loses confidence. If he moves too slow, he has more people to deal with because fighters who have came from behind him, pass him by. Ellis has been passed by Vergil Ortiz, who is younger and has less fights in his same stable. Let’s see how things turn out. I hope the kid gets a chance.

Hi Breadman,

In your 9/11 mailbag- you mentioned that you take responsibility as a Head Trainer for everything that goes on in fight camp. Can you talk about the mindset/ psyche of a trainer going into high profile / championship type fights?  It would be great to hear your insight around: What makes trainers nervous, cautious, optimistic? Pre camp preparation – Assesing if a fighters peaking appropriately – Fight promotion

Bread’s Response: That’s why it’s important for a fighter to listen to his trainer because if the trainer has to take responsibility for things that go wrong, he should be the #1 influence on the fighter.

Going into a fight a trainer has to be locked in just like the fighter. You have to come to gym everyday, with a creative mindset and an observant one. You have to see where the fighter is mentally and physically and implement the daily routine. You have to know when to push and/or pull. 

What makes me cautious is if the fighter is struggling too much in sparring or his workouts. If he’s not getting the better of the sparring consistently that worries me slightly, depending on who he’s sparring. If he’s not completing his workouts with energy that would also worry me. But it’s no need to PANIC because believe it or not, camps go up and down. Most times they aren’t perfect. So you have to hold things in context. The things we see on highlight training videos, aren’t every single day in camp. You also have to realize that the fighter gets better as camp goes along and it takes time for his body to adjust to the load.

Pre camp preparation is just as important as camp. A fighter should enter camp in 75% of their max shape and between 15lb-20lbs within their weigh in weight. You have to know the fighter to know his peak. But I personally can tell when they don’t leave food on the table and they cruise through their workouts. Here is what I mean. 

In sparring a trainer calls for shots. If a fighter is peaking, you won’t have to ask for too many shots  because he’s going to be throwing and landing them. As far as his workouts if you ask for 20 rounds of floor work. He can give you 20 rounds of floor work without over exerting himself. 

Fight promotion is going to be what  it’s going to be. What I tell  the promotion is to not bother the fighter too much, too close to fight time. A fighter needs to be locked in and little things can throw them off.

You were right about not calling the 4 Kings, the 4 Kings. The year is almost over and they still haven’t fought each other. Who do you think will turn out to be the best when it’s all said and done? And who do you think each will fight next?

Bread’s Response: First off I think there are 5 fighters between 130-135 who are worthy of close observation and expectations. Shakur Stevenson is just as talented as the 4 Kings. But as you said they haven’t fought each other yet. The originals fought about 10x over a decade. This wait and see era won’t allow that, because one or both sides won’t be willing to risk it if the other looks too strong. 

I don’t know who will be the best when it’s all said and done. But I can tell you who’s in the best position right now. Tank Davis. He’s making the most money. He’s improving as a fighter. He would have the most leverage if he were in negotiations to fight any of the others. He also seems to be able to float between divisions so that gives him more options.

Teofimo Lopez has the best win so far and he may be the best. But he lost his momentum of the Lomachenko win and it seems his team may have misjudged that win in terms of power. 

Shakur Stevenson is doing well. He’s just one division below. He’s further away from them as far as head to head match ups, not in terms of talent. He can go.

Devin Haney seems to need value opponents. For some reason he hasn’t been able to get the fights he wants. He was also hurt in his last fight so therefore, all eyes will be on him. But I think Devin is the goods, he just needs to sure some technical things up. Ben Davison is the real deal, so Devin should be fine.

Ryan Garcia has not fought for a world title yet, the rest are champions. He gets put in the category of the others, and he may be as far as talent. But he hasn’t stepped up and fought for a world title. That’s a big deal in my opinion. He won an eliminator to fight for the WBC title and did not take his title shot. He has been rumored to fight several big names fighters and not ONE of the fights have been made. I don’t have knowledge of any of the negotiations so I’m not blaming anyone but I just don’t know how to evaluate a talented fighter, who is in the position to take big fights but the fights never happen. Or have not happened thus far…

Send Questions to dabreadman25@hotmail.com

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