A new story from SI Boxing with Chris Mannix


Well, by the way, if you've been watching the Tyson Fury Netflix documentary, Tyson Fury, I don't think he's ever going to retire, ever. He's going to say he's retiring until we're all dead, probably, but yeah. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Fury-Usyk negotiations fell apart over rematch clause, right? They were okay on the initial, I guess there was some back and forth because Saudi Arabia first, and then it's in the UK, but it was more towards the end, it was about a rematch clause. It's a long way of saying, I think this fight can be resuscitated. And I agree with you, if you're Tyson Fury and you're watching Usyk Dubois, you're thinking to yourself, look, Daniel Dubois gave himself a shot to win with a decent borderline body shot there, I'm better than Daniel Dubois. I should be able to handle that version of Usyk. At least that's got to be what you're telling yourself if you're Tyson Fury in that fight. I have no interest whatsoever in Herjavec versus Usyk. I mean, Herjavec, the shine's really come off him over the last couple of fights. The Zhili Zhang fight could have gone either way. His last fight, Dempsey McKeon, whatever, that wasn't all that, it was just a ho-hum kind of performance. Guys like Herjavec, if you get in line and you put yourself in a mandatory position, sure, you should get an opportunity to fight for a world title. But I would definitely like to see the IBF, see everybody allow some negotiations to take place so we can potentially get Usyk versus Fury in the first quarter of 2024. All right, I want to talk about Terence Crawford, who has been on a victory tour since his knockout win over Errol Spence Jr. last month. And while we wait to see if Spence plans to exercise his rematch clause, Crawford has been openly talking about the possibility of facing Canelo Alvarez in his next fight. Here's Crawford discussing it on the three-knockdown rule this week. That would be my opportunity to show everybody how great Terence Crawford really is. If Canelo win that fight and accept my challenge and I come up to 168 and challenge him for undisputed in his weight and that fight happened, then, you know, man, I'm going to just show everybody, you know, that his skills pay the bills and I got the skills to do it all in that ring. So, Keith, I love this fight. I love it so much. I have no interest in, you know, beating up on the Charlo brothers tour. I have no interest in, I really have no interest in a rematch between Crawford and Spence. I do have great interest in seeing if Crawford can move up to 168 and beat Canelo Alvarez if Canelo gets through Jermell Charlo later on in September. I guess let's phrase the question this way. Do you think this fight's realistic? I mean, Crawford is aligned with PBC now. Canelo is aligned with PBC now. We still don't know who Canelo would face in the second fight of his deal. We know Eddie Reynoso has been saying Jermell Charlo is the target, but Jermell Charlo, who the hell knows what's going on with him? Is Crawford Canelo realistic for some time in the first half of 2024? It depends on who you ask. If you ask Terence Crawford, it absolutely is. If you ask Canelo Alvarez, it absolutely isn't. So Canelo feels like if he fights Crawford and he wins the fight, he'll get no credit because he'll have fought a guy who moved up three weight classes because he said unequivocally he is not moving down to 160 to 162 to 160. He's not moving down. So the fight would have to be at 168, which Crawford says that he is okay with doing. And that takes a lot of balls. I mean, not that I didn't think Terence Crawford didn't have that to begin with, but that's really saying something to move up three weight classes. I guess you could look at it this way, Chris. There was a time, now the fight was offered to Canelo to fight Errol Spence at once. I think it was 164, I believe. And that fight was offered to him and he didn't do it. And I think I remember him saying also, well, I'm not really going to get credit because he's a welterweight moving up and all that kind of, but he didn't completely dismiss it, I guess. I mean, it was something that, oh, who knows what could happen in the future. So I guess if you look at it that way, well, if he could have fought Errol Spence, he could fight the guy who beat up Errol Spence, you would think. But Canelo has been pretty adamant about this, that he is not going to fight Crawford because he just thinks that it's a bridge too far for Crawford and he's not going to get credit for doing it and kind of what is the purpose of him doing it because he can make a lot of money fighting other guys. Maybe he's got his heart set on us because of course he feels like beating Jermell Charlo, no questions asked, who that second opponent would be. Maybe he's got his mind made up as it relates to that. Of course, he's not sharing that with us, but maybe he feels he knows who that second opponent is and he's not going to entertain Crawford. And then Crawford could be bound to this rematch with Spence anyway, which could take you through the beginning of 2024 and then, you know, Canelo is probably not going to fight until May anyway, so it would align that way. I would like to be more positive about it, Chris, because, you know, just for the sake of history, I'd love to see if Terrence Crawford could pull that off. I mean, every time they say Terrence Crawford can't do something, he goes and does it. I mean, this is a big ask. I mean, to move up 21 pounds to go beat Canelo is a big ask, but he might have another. What if Jermell Charlo wins? I know that you feel that he has zero chance to win. I understand that. Let's just say he wins. Well, then you have the guy who beat Canelo who has this rivalry with Crawford and is a stable mate of Errol Spence. Well, then you've really got some drama there, right? And Jermell Charlo, I would think, wouldn't demand that he comes up to 168 pounds and then Crawford only has to come up how much of a weight they decide on, he would come up. Well, then you have Canelo still the biggest star in boxing. I'm not discounting that as it relates to who Crawford could fight, and it would be a much bigger fight if he fought Canelo because Canelo, again, the biggest star in American boxing. But imagine if Charlo wins, well, he'd have to beat Canelo twice because there's a rematch clause in the contract, so let's start with that. He's got to beat him twice. So Crawford will have to fight someone in between if that were to happen. But I don't think that if Canelo, the favorite fighter, does win, I don't think that Terence Crawford is going to be Canelo's next opponent as part of his three-fight deal with PBC. Well, thanks for throwing some cold water on that, Keith. Good to talk to you. I'm here to bring reality to the podcast, my friend. Come on. Well, hey, speaking of reality, I don't believe Jermell Charlo can win. I've said this before. I'll say it again. I see no pathway to victory for him. I saw a guy that got beat up pretty good by Bryan Castano. I think Canelo is levels better than Bryan Castano, and I think Canelo is going to do to him what Castano couldn't, and I think he's going to finish him off in that fight. You make a good point about the rematch clause, so we'd have to wait until summer fall of 2024 to potentially get Crawford against Charlo. But if Canelo wins, use the word credit. Does Canelo get more credit for fighting Jermell Charlo in his next fight versus fighting Terence Crawford? Because we'd be talking about a Jermell Charlo that would be at that point close to three years removed from his last fight, if you fast forward to May of 2024, who has not looked impressive in the previous fights he's had. Would he really get less credit for fighting Terence Crawford than he would Jermell Charlo? It's a good point, Chris, but one, I don't think that if Jermell Charlo fights him next, he will go directly into that fight. I think they will find some sort of tune up for him on Showtime or something. He can't go, you know, he can't come off what would be, like you said, almost three full years out of the ring and fight Canelo. Of course, you would have the grudge. Let's say he beats Jermell. You have the grudge match aspect. He's coming to avenge his brother's loss, but if you hear Jermell talk, they're not even on speaking terms now, so I don't know what matters exactly. I mean, things aren't good between them. His girlfriend and his wife got into a fight that they spent outside of the arena. When Jermell was doing the two-city press tour and he was doing a whole bunch of interviews and stuff, he said he at that point had not spoken to Jermell since that happened. I think maybe two or three weeks had gone by from that point. He hadn't spoken to his brother. Regardless, I don't think that Jermell Charlo would go into the Canelo fight if Canelo beats Jermell Charlo and is looking to fight Jermell next. Having said that, who knows how he's going to look in that fight because he didn't look particularly good against Juan Macias Montiel, who was blown out by Carlos Adamas, so I don't know how anyone could say with any certainty what to make of Jermell Charlo at this point in his career. If he comes back and he scores an impressive knockout, at least he would establish some sort of momentum going into that fight, but if it's not him and it's not Crawford, I mean, I don't know who Canelo would fight in that second fight because it's not going to be Benavidez or the winner of the Benavidez-Andrade fight, and it's certainly not going to be David But yeah, I see what you're saying, though, because no one knows what's left of Jermell Charlo at this point, so how could you say you would get more credit for that than beating, who I believe is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, and I think most people should believe that at this point. It's a good point, but he, again, would have to come up 21 pounds in weight, so that's a huge factor. Canelo, he's a very hard puncher, and he's used to absorbing punches at that weight, and he fought at light heavyweight twice and didn't budge, so again, it's a huge ask of Terrence Crawford, but it would be a fascinating event, a fascinating fight to see if Crawford could do it, but based on the way Canelo is talking about it, I just don't see it happen. You know, I think we, and just speaking abroad, we have to come off the idea that Crawford, you know, would be, everybody would downplay a win over Crawford. Maybe people would after the fact, but I just, I can't get excited about a Jermell Charlo fight, even if Charlo is coming off a win over a Maciej Sileski type. I can't get excited about that. Of the available opponents out there, and I'm excluding Benavidez and excluding Morrell because, as you point out, he's probably not going to fight them in May of 2024. Terrence Crawford, I think, is the most marketable opponent, and I think the opponent that he'd probably get the most credit for, because Terrence Crawford is the number one pound-for-pound guy now, and Canelo Alvarez, he could be sold as former number one pound-for-pound, still believes he's at the top, now fighting the guy who is at the top. I just think there's so many ways to market it, so many ways to sell it, and if Crawford really is willing to do what he says he's willing to do, and I have no reason to doubt him, then that to me is just a phenomenal fight to make. I'm interested to see what happens in the aftermath of the Jermell versus Canelo fight and exactly how the pieces kind of fall into place. I guess the other thing we have to ask is, you know, is Spence going to exercise that rematch clause? Because if he does, this is an entirely moot point, right? Like, do you believe Spence is going to exercise that immediate rematch clause for either later this year or early next year? Well, I've been hearing conflicting things, I would say. I mean, he wants it from a pride standpoint, obviously. He wants his get-back, and there are people that I've spoken to, fighters, managers, trainers, that think that it would be a more competitive fight at 154 pounds. Who knows? Of course, it took a lot out of him to get down to 147 pounds, but I don't think that's wrong for him on 29. I agree. That's what he's going to tell himself, obviously, as a competitor and as someone who's never been in this predicament before, having to come off a devastating lopsided loss like that. Of course, he's going to say that. I don't know that it would be all that different, to be honest with you, but Chris, I just want to circle back to one thing you said related to Canelo, because I agree with a lot of what you said about marketing the fight and the former pound for pound king against the current pound for pound king, and that all makes perfect sense. But let's just say the Canelo-Charlow fight goes the way that you expect it to go, and Canelo wins convincingly. Okay, he just beat a 54-pounder. His next fight's going to be against a 47-pounder, and then let's just say he beats him. Who's he going to fight next, Tank? At a certain point, people are going to say, well, why do you keep fighting guys who are all these weight classes below you? Now, Terrence Crawford, in my opinion, is better than Jarmel Charlo, but you're not going to keep going down. And also, if you're Al Heyman and Showtime and you're trying to maximize this multi-fight deal with Canelo, I mean, continually having him fight guys with lower weight classes, I don't think is the way to really captivate the public. The Crawford fight is an anomaly for obvious reasons, right? But coming off, let's just say he beat Charlo convincingly, then go to the undisputed champion in the lower weight class. I don't know if you can sell that. It's 21 pounds. If they fought at 160 pounds, if they fought at 160, I might buy it more, but 21 pounds, I mean, oof. But you think a Jarmel Charlo fight is more marketable then? You think that's the case? No, I honestly don't want to... Like I said earlier, no one could conceivably say that they know what to make of Jarmel Charlo at this point. I'm not saying that's what you want. I'm just saying that it would be fascinating. I'm not saying I wouldn't want to see it. I'm just saying, does it make sense from a business standpoint for them to do that next? Particularly if he beats Charlo in a way that you and some other people seem to think that he will. I'm not saying he's going to lose. I'm not saying Canelo's going to lose, but I think that's a real fight. So I'll say this, if you're rooting, not you specifically, wants to see Crawford fight Canelo, you really should root for the Charlo-Canelo fight to be competitive. Because if it isn't, I don't see how you sell against a smaller guy. What do you do to maximize? Danny DuBois just fought Oleksandr Usyk in front of 50,000 people. I mean, you could do whatever you want, I guess. You talk about maximize though, Keith, like what does maximize that second fight? I mean, if we kind of assume that Benavidez could be there as the third fight of that deal, what is an ideal situation for PBC and your attainment? I don't see it out there. You'd almost have to enlist like Jaime Munguia from Golden Boy or somebody outside the PBC universe because inside, cross your fingers, nope Demetrius, Android wins. I don't know. I don't know what the opponent is for him there. That's been a problem for months now. We've been talking about this for a while, whether it's going to be Jermall Charlo or somebody else. That second slot has been something of a mystery since Canelo announced this deal. I don't know exactly where he goes in there. Even though there's a 21-pound weight gap, I would get really excited to see Canelo versus Crawford. I think a lot of people out there would too. Now, after the fact, we may say, oh, you beat up on a smaller guy. But going into that fight, I think there would more interest in Canelo versus Crawford than there would be in Canelo versus anyone else, including David Benavidez, I think. Now, we might sit there and agree that Benavidez is a tougher fight. But in terms of marketability, I don't think Benavidez Canelo does better than Canelo versus Crawford. I just think it's on two different levels marketing-wise. I'm not sure about the Benavidez one, Chris, because there's nothing to disparage the Benavidez-Canelo fight. Benavidez is actually bigger. Obviously, they're in the same weight class, but he's the bigger guy. He's the younger guy. But in terms of known commodities, right? People know Crawford now. Of course. Yeah. But again, I don't think you can discount the 21-pound weight advantage that Canelo would have, whereas Benavidez would be viewed as the young killer, the bigger... Now, I'm not saying Benavidez wins that fight. I'm just saying he's a naturally taller guy who's on the come up. He's been fighting as a professional for a very long time for someone who's 26 years old, but he's 26 years old. That's a good question. I think Crawford, because of, like you said, where his marketability is coming off this incredible win and the surge he has enjoyed over the last few weeks, it would do good business. There's business, right? And it would do much better business than most with Crawford involved. And so you make a good point. But I don't know if it would... The Benavidez fight, people really want to see that. And you know how it goes on both sides of it. People build up all this nonsense that doesn't exist, like Canelo's running from Benavidez. He's like, yeah, I mean, the guys want everybody. And I think he'll eventually wind up fighting Benavidez. I mean, it's a good narrative for Benavidez's camp to play off of while you're waiting for this fight. But Demetrius Andrade's not an easy fight, you know? Look out for Demetrius Andrade. I'm quitting this podcast if Andrade beats Benavidez. Jesus Christ. Oh, look out for my guy, Demetrius Andrade. Live dog in that fight against Benavidez. He's going to do some things in that fight that I think will make Benavidez look bad. May not win, but I think he's going to acquit himself well in that fight. That's a conversation for when we get closer to that fight actually being finalized. I want to ask you, Keith, about Jared Anderson, what we saw from him this past weekend. Picked up his second win in the last two months, stopping Andrade Rudenko. Anderson, one of the best heavyweight prospects in all of boxing, maybe the best heavyweight prospect in boxing. He's ranked in the top 10 by three of the four sanctioning bodies, being moved pretty well, and being moved pretty fast by top rank. When you look at his future, we mentioned FA Iqagba. I think that'd be a pretty interesting fight for Jared Anderson. But how close are we getting to Jared Anderson getting a significant fight? Well, I guess we'd have to define significant fight because Usyk and Fury are off the table, right? I mean, those guys, he's not, I don't think he's ready for that necessarily. And I don't think he's in position to make that happen right now based on what they have going on. So yeah, then who does he fight who's not too dangerous? Because look, he can tell you all he wants that he wasn't hurt by Charles Martin. He was hurt not once. He was hurt twice by Charles Martin in the fifth round. The middle minute of the fifth round, he was buzzed by the left hand and he responded very well to it. And maybe it was a little lack of focus toward the end of the 10th round. But he got rocked with another left hand where if Charles Martin had another 20 or 30 seconds to try to follow up on that, the conclusion might have been different. So he was hurt twice by and there's no shame in getting hurt by Charles. Charles Martin is a huge puncher. I mean, he's, you know, people think what they think about Charles Martin based on the Anthony Joshua fight, but he's a huge puncher. Big guy, almost had Luis Ortiz out and has been a solid heavyweight. So it was a good comeback win for Jared Anderson. You know, he did what he was supposed to do with Rodaico who had never really been stopped, stopped. You know what I mean? So it was a good win for Jared Anderson and exactly what he needed. And he came back on only seven weeks, you know, only seven weeks after he fought the toughest fight of his career and went 10 rounds for the first time. So give him credit for that. So who does he fight, Chris? Really? I mean, because they were, look from the top rank perspective, they were at, if it wasn't next, it was going to be the following fight. He was going to fight Zon Kasabutski if Kasabutski beat FA Jogba. Now, obviously people would say, well, then why can't you just make FA Jogba against Jared Anderson? Well, because they have the same management team they're friendly. And I know people hate hearing the friendship stuff because you know, that's the boxing business basically, right? And a lot of friends have fought each other, but they do have the same management team looking out for their interests and everything. And they both have kind of said that they're not going to fight each other. So the fact that Kasabutski did just utterly baffling things on Saturday night and through his career down the drain for the most part. So they don't have that built-in guy with top rank for Jared Anderson to fight right now. So it's going to be interesting to see who, because he's going to fight probably one more time before the end of the year. And if he does that, it's going to be interesting to see because Kasabutski is no longer available to him. And FA Jogba is not for the reasons I just mentioned. Where do you go? Right? Do you bring a British heavyweight over? I don't know. I don't know who you bring over to fight him. Probably have to. I mean, you probably have to, you have to look overseas where there are some heavyweight options. I mean, I don't know if he's ready for like a Joseph Parker. I'd love to see that fight. Maybe a little bit too far at this point for Jared Anderson. That's a really good, I think, heavyweight fight. Here's one for you, Chris, how about this? Okay. Jalee Zhang beats Joe Joyce again on September 23rd, which well could happen. Frank Warren is Jalee Zhang's promoter who works with Bob Aaron. Would they put, would they put after what happened with another strong southpaw, another older strong southpaw, would they put Jared Anderson in the ring for an opportunity to win one of the interim titles and then become a mandatory? And would they pay Jalee Zhang enough money to make that happen? I would like to see that. Let me tell you something. Do respect that Jared Anderson, but if Jalee Zhang beats Joe Joyce again, I wouldn't make Jared Anderson a favorite in that fight. I think Jalee Zhang wins. I think he's too strong and you can't knock Jalee Zhang out. Like he's just too big and he's got too good a chance. I know this is talk for a few weeks down the road because the fight's September 23rd, but guy's been training in New Jersey for 10 years and Lou Duva told me a very long time ago, there's something special about this guy and he's going to speak any English, but he does. And, uh, he, you know, he knows that he's not a real, real world champion, but he's on the cusp of making something pretty special happen. Um, and you know, people think negative things about him because of what happened in the Jerry forest fight. And they feel that he faded against her garbage when he probably could have won that fight and everything. But look, the top ranked matchmakers are entirely too smart from that. For that, I'm not saying that they're going to sign off on Jared Anderson fighting Jalee Zhang, even though he's 40 years old at this point, I don't understand they're going to do that. I'm just saying it would be an appealing option if we're looking for appealing options. I agree. I'd love to see that fight and Jared Anderson would have to box in that fight because you're not putting Jalee Zhang down. I mean, I was there for the forest fight where it was not to rehash it, but that was a whole confluence of bad events for Jalee Zhang that led to him looking as bad as he did. Uh, I thought he won the Hargovitch fight. It was close. I thought he lefts on Joe Joyce and busting up his face. That's who Jalee Zhang is. He has got blunt power with that left hand and he has got a good chin. So that would be an incredibly appealing fight. And you know, good for top rank, good for Jared Anderson if they did go in that direction. But that certainly is one to watch after the Joyce Zhang fight later on in September. Last thing for you, Keith, I want to just, we saw the WBC order something recently. I want to drop this on you real quick. Um, Shakur Stevenson, Frank Martin, when I saw that, I, you know, I, I don't want to get excited about a potential big fight when two fighters are promoted by rival entities and fight on opposing platforms. But correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's a purse bid schedule for what next week. And I'm dying to see if who goes through with it. I mean, I've checked in with a few people on both sides. I don't think there's any certainty on if this comes to a purse bid, if we'll get, you know, both sides going through with that purse bid. But of course, Stevenson, Frank Martin on paper, tremendous fight. What are the chances you think we get that fight for the WBC right way title? Well, I really hope we do Chris, because it's a look, it's it's in terms of what's available. It's about as good as Shakur Stevenson is going to do next, right? Because Devin Haney's moving up to 140. Excuse me, the tank fight is not going to obviously not going to happen next. It's a pretty good fight, right? Martin didn't look good, particularly let me backtrack. He didn't look as good in his last fight, as he did in his in his previous fight against Michelle Rivera. And he was in with a guy who had a lot of experience, a lot of Olympic experience and amateur experience and everything. And he learned something from it. The shine is a little off of him, maybe, you know, based on how good he looked against Michelle Rivera, but he'll give Shakur Stevenson a real fight. Now, Shakur, I think is on another level and would win but I would much rather see that than see Shakur fight an in house guy and Jermaine Ortiz is very good, but you know, just had all this trouble making weight and everything and probably shouldn't be rewarded for that by fighting Shakur Stevenson next. But I would rather see that than an in house top rank fight. So let's see how they go about it. It's a very costly fight for whoever wins that purse bid. You have to pay a lot of money because Shakur Stevenson's minimums are high. And it was my understanding that they were when they were negotiating before the WBC ordered the the purse bid, which is scheduled for September 5, the Tuesday after Labor Day, they were far enough apart on money to necessitate a purse bid, I guess, for what to satisfy Frank Martin side of it. The fight would be if top rank promotes the fight, it would be on ESPN. The on a Thursday night of all nights on a Thursday night in November, before the Formula One Grand Prix race in Vegas, the next two days or three days after that, I believe it is. It's an interesting fight. I would favor Shakur and I would favor Shakur Stevenson against, you know, most lightweights. I'd love to see him fight Tank Davis at some point. That really, that's a pick of it to me. But I would favor Shakur against most anybody else in the lightweight division, including Frank Martin, but it's a very good fight. Yeah, as far as lightweight opponents go, Frank Martin would be, you know, the best that Shakur has faced up until this point. It would just be a really compelling match up of two undefeated young 135 pounders. This is the kind of cross promotional fight that boxing needs to make more of. It's one of those situations too, Keith, where it's like, you know, if that purse bid happens, and there is a result, somebody wins. If you walk away from that fight, the other guy has a chance to call you a ducker, the guy can say you're ducking. Like there was a purse bid, your promoter had a chance to put up a bunch of money to win that purse bid. I believe, is the split 50-50 for something like that? That's a good question because I'm trying to remember where Martin is. I forgot. But either way, they'd make a boatload of money. You get to be in a marquee fight. I'd love to see it. I think that's a terrific fight between two top guys at 135. Undefeated. I love what I've seen from Frank Martin. That last fight, notwithstanding, I think that was, I don't think that was an example of the real Frank Martin. I think the Michelle Rivera fight was probably more a look at the real Frank Martin, where Shakur has been great every single time he's been out. So I'm all in. No, it's an excellent fight, Chris. And like you said, we could use more. And top rank has shown, and when necessary, you see us in fighters over there as well as opponents and such. And in this case, Frank Martin would have to be considered the opponent. I mean, Shakur is the star and Frank Martin would be the underdog in the fight. So it could be worth PBC's while because they want a big fight for Frank Martin and they wouldn't have to pay for it if it goes, if it went on the ESPN side. From top ranks perspective, they would have to bid a lot of money because they could not afford from a public relations standpoint to lose Shakur Stevenson even for a fight to PBC if they were to get outbid by Al Heyman and TGB, which would represent Al at the purse bid. You don't think it's worth it? I mean, not that it's the same thing, but I remember when, well, I mean, for one fight, like I remember when Lomachenko fought Gary Russell. I know it's not the same thing. That was very early in Lomachenko's career, but that fight was on Showtime. And that was at the time kind of the marquee win of Lomachenko's career. I just, I don't think the top rank, I don't think it's catastrophic. If for one fight Shakur Stevenson goes over, you know, gets a win, then comes back to ESPN and top rank. I just don't know that it's so damaging to their brand. Maybe not catastrophic, but they will not want that to happen, obviously, because they have the financial wherewithal to make sure that it stays on ESPN. So I think they would do everything in their power to make that happen. But then it's like, you don't know how much the other, in this case, you don't know how much the other side is willing to bid because it would be a coup, a minor coup, I guess, for the PBC Showtime side of it to steal Shakur Stevenson away from top ranking ESPN for one fight.

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