Archives

Full Stop: Terence Crawford Sends Off Shawn Porter

The grin was the tell. Even as his brow leaked and his mouth hung open for occasional gulps of air, Terence Crawford couldn’t suppress the smile curling the corners of his lips late in Saturday’s fight at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The world’s welterweight apex predator may have been made to labor and […]

Can Xu Attitude No Help in Upset by Leigh Wood

Eight years ago, Zou Shiming turned pro and immediately began stoking visions of a Chinese crossover star who could pack arenas and casinos in Macau while earning respect, attention and profits — never forget the profits — by handling his business on boxing’s competitive world stage. Zou was sent to work at Freddie Roach’s Wild […]

Monstrous Math: Naoya Inoue Stops Michael Dasmarinas

So much of what we think we know about sports legend is bullshit. Babe Ruth’s called shot? Just as likely a mosquito swat. Larry Bird’s predicted 43-point night? John Stockton loves to tell the story, but it changes with every telling. Brett Favre’s unsolicited dick pic text? OK, that probably happened. But the truth is, […]

Gonzalez Falls to Estrada, But Not From Grace

For such a tiny man, Roman Gonzalez has a surprisingly easy time lugging around a legacy large enough to exert its own gravitational force. The phrase “first-ballot Hall of Famer” was practically an official honorific in the lead-up to Saturday’s junior bantamweight unification fight between Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada — a nod to Gonzalez’s […]

Landing His Mark: Broner Decisions Santiago

By the time any of the first-person musings and pre-packaged on-screen interviews with Adrien Broner began rolling in from his latest training camp, there was nothing left to be shocked about. Broner had risen to fame (or ignominy, depending on your slant) on the delivery of a riffing, foul-mouthed, money-talks persona that could best be […]

2020 Fighter Of The Year: Teofimo Lopez

How did a 5-foot-8, 135-pound asthmatic — a kid who showed up to work just once over the past calendar year, and who isn’t yet old enough to rent a car — become the most distinguished fighter in the world in 2020? Just ask Teofimo Lopez Jr. Or don’t. Either way, he’s probably gonna tell […]

A Diary On The Pleasures Of Watching Japanese Boxing On New Year’s Eve

When Daigo Higa emptied the contents of Yuki Strong Kobayashi’s face onto the ring canvas of Tokyo’s Ota-City General Gymnasium around suppertime, Japan Standard Time, on New Year’s Eve, I was still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes amid the glow of a flatscreen in Midwest suburbia. Nothing about the moment, neither the act […]

Your Flight Is Booked: Canelo Alvarez Dominates Callum Smith

It’s a little-known law of nature: Because crusty, bloated sportswriters are biologically predisposed to pearl-clutching, the survival of the species depends on the periodic rant about The Sanctity of the Game. In boxing, that means screeds about sanctioning bodies, state commissions, promoters, managers, yahoo judges, YouTubers, referees, Saved By the Bell refugees, various and sundry […]

A Lack Of Overt Menace: Joe Joyce Jabs Daniel Dubois Into Submission

Pete Rademacher. Tyrell Biggs. Henry Tillman. Michael Bennett. Michael Grant. Expect the names to be rolled out in the coming days, like the saddest of funeral processions — a somber reminder of the heavyweight division’s most auspicious careers cut down too soon. For a Brits-only version, the ceremony will be shorter, but stingingly familiar: They’ll […]

Err Bud? Terence Crawford Beats Kell Brook, But to What End?

Calculating precisely where Terence Crawford fits along the spectrum of boxing’s superstars is something of a fool’s errand and, if we’re being honest with ourselves, entirely beside the point. No sport is more tribal, more random in the focus of its fan adoration, nor more fickle in ascribing value to fundamentally flawed human beings — […]

Cutting The Fuel Line: Oleksandr Usyk Outlasts Dereck Chisora

Eleven years ago, David Haye challenged Nikolai Valuev in Nuremberg, Germany, in a heavyweight title bout that likely represented the greatest size disparity in modern boxing. Valuev, “The Russian Giant,” stood 7′ tall and weighed in well north of 300 pounds. Haye, a former cruiserweight, who had blown himself up to a career-high 217 pounds […]

Galaxy Brain: Teofimo Lopez Bests Vasiliy Lomachenko

The gift of the truly great megafight comes around roughly as often as Halley’s Comet, a once-in-a-lifetime galactic event — an almost-spiritual happening that, for those of us inclined toward these things, helps us better understand the human experience and ground our presence within the cosmos. But there’s a hard truth that’s compulsively forgotten, again […]

Winning Lost Time: Jose Pedraza Tops Javier Molina

The boxing business wasn’t built for fighters like Jose Pedraza. The 31-year-old Puerto Rican junior welterweight has been an Olympian, a prospect with some heat and, if you’re into that kind of thing — and you know you are, you little minx — a titleholder at 130 and 135 pounds. Not too shabby. But nothing […]

Carl Frampton, Gentleman And Conqueror Of Darren Traynor

Even in the age of social distancing, you can scarcely swing a dead cat without hitting a boxer who doesn’t have a little resentment coming to him. Fighters are hard men with pocked histories. Boxing is known for its boozers, gamblers, junkies, abusers and general dirtbaggery. Self-promotion too often falls somewhere on the spectrum between […]

Reigning On Your Charade: Ortiz KOs Vargas

We’ve had ourselves a year, huh? It’s only July, I know, but aren’t all of us reaching to throw in the towel on 2020 right now? COVID. Kobe. Thirty years of Cops squeezed into a two-week off-off-Broadway shitshow. Existential dread surrounds us like Confederate Flags at a Charlie Daniels concert. (Alas, now we’re denied even […]

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