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Rough Translation: Usyk Takes Another Step Against Witherspoon

Oleksandr Usyk contains multitudes. Scratch that. Not multitudes. Magnitudes. The 32-year-old Ukrainian lineal cruiserweight champ-turned-heavyweight contender is guided by two indomitable polar forces, and he brings them to bear with magnetic energy, a twinkle in his maniacal eyes, and a gnashing of his gap-toothed grin. He’d be as comfortable wearing a Kievan Rus war helmet, […]

It’s Learning Nothing That Keeps Us Young: Dubois Stops Tetteh In 1

It’s hard not to think about Michael Grant. Two decades ago, Grant was boxing’s latest next big thing. A chiseled, athletic 6-foot-7 250-pounder with an 86-inch reach, Grant was a radioactive-spider-bitten unicorn — a powerful, athletic American heavyweight. Born in Chicago, he would have appeared just as formidable a figure rushing the quarterback off the […]

Palooka Politicos: The 2020 Presidential Candidates If They Were Fighters

Sometimes, the forming of a more perfect union requires the separation of a rib or three. At least that’s what our politicians would have us believe. Bureaucrats, wonks, and snake-oil salesmen love nothing more than co-opting the language of boxing (“I’ll fight for you!”), but believe it or not, some pols have actually gone so […]

Jaime Munguia, Erik Morales And The Zombie Apocalypse

It’s tempting to view boxing as the ultimate meritocracy. On Forbes’ annual World’s Highest Paid Athletes list, a fighter routinely cracks the top five — and often leads the way, with Floyd Mayweather recently banking nearly a third of a billion dollars in a single calendar year. Social media directly connects fans to fighters, promoters […]

Of Possums and Prey: Juan Francesco Estrada Stops Dewayne Beamon

Biologists have a name for it: Thanatosis. In the animal realm, certain species will exhibit, as a means of self-protection or sexual predation, an adaptive behavior also described as tonic immobility, aka playing dead. A few predators have evolved to incorporate this assumed posture in order to lure their prey into a state of vulnerability. […]

This Is The End(ish): Kownacki Defeats Arreola

I think a lot about retirement. I’m not yet of an age that anyone other than my teenagers would consider “old,” but it occurs to me now and then that I’m closer to the end than to the beginning. I get tired. Most days, I possess neither the optimal levels of energy nor give-a-shit. The […]

A Gleeful Refrain: Manny Pacquiao Defeats Keith Thurman

Time and tide wait for no man, but for a select few, they’re willing to look the other way. Cezanne didn’t put on his first art exhibit until turning 56. Diana Nyad swam the Gulf, from Havana to Key West — 110 miles — at age 64. (Shark cages, by the way, are for candy-asses.) […]

OK Then: Vargas Tops Kameda

It’s hard to know what not to look at first. The mudflap ears. The lump of a chin, almost an identical twin to the Adam’s Apple in its tiny shadow. The stringy build, like a bedsheet slung over an old TV antenna — or the Vlasic Pickles Stork on a pilates regimen. With an awkward […]

Raymundo Beltran Loses To Richard Commey, For All Of Us

We are all jobbers. Journeymen. Club-circuit vets. Gatekeepers and B-siders. Taxi drivers, tomato cans and trash men. Pugs and palookas. Oh, that’s not you? You’re special? Hate to break it to you, Chico, but you are not the Floyd Mayweather of your beige suburban office park. You are lower-middle management. You are a junior associate […]

Fury Vs. Schwarz: Smell That Smell

John L. Sullivan took on all comers between and beyond the ropes during his heyday in the late 19th century, and his ability to outlast or overcome nearly every one of his opponents cast him as the most acclaimed fighter of his era and the first of history’s recognized world heavyweight champions. You know what? […]

Poise And Purpose: Jamel Herring Defeats Masayuki Ito

Because locating the exact point at which homage ends and gratuitous pandering begins, we have boxing. Plot a path starting from “vaguely uncomfortable undertones,“ remove all forms of tact and discretion, and you’ll find yourself just a short DeLorean ride away from “ham-fisted stereotypes, flag-humping nationalism and ‘Cats’-meets-snuff-film aberrancy.” Welcome, freaks! In the past week […]

Naoya Inoue Isn’t Fair

Are we sure this kid isn’t Kazakh? The thought dawned on me the first time watching Naoya Inoue. It might have been his swarming stoppage of Adrian Hernandez to win a junior flyweight title. Or maybe when he hopped a weight class to turn Omar Narvaez’s liver into pâté and swipe his belt. Could have […]

Melons Balled: Terence Crawford Tops Amir Khan

Give Amir Khan this: He does not merely invite derision. When Amir Khan comes calling, he asks derision to stay in the guest house for the week, drink all his top-shelf liquor and drive his wife around town, keep her company – you know, just show her a good time. It is easy for boxing […]

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Shawn Porter Gets Split Decision Over Yordenis Ugas

There’s a word the Germans have gifted us – schadenfreude – that, in that uniquely American way, we have since deep-fried, tossed in buffalo sauce and dipped in ranch to turn into something else altogether. It’s not enough for us to take quiet pleasure in the misfortune of others. Nah, that’s for chumps. Our country […]

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