Career in Review: Sergio Martinez

I’ve been going down the rabbit hole every so often and rewatching the careers of certain fighters – covering Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather thus far – and I would be remiss if I didn’t shine a little love on ‘Maravilla’, former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. Martinez was, during his heyday, my favorite active fighter, and though his reign as middleweight king was short, he was exciting, flashy and dynamic. Join me down the Maravilla rabbit hole, starting with his 2009 matchup with Paul Williams:


December 5, 2009: Paul Williams (USA) MD12 Sergio Martinez (Argentina)

STW Scorecard: Williams 114-114 Martinez

This was a really high level, fun fight broadcast on HBO. Funny enough, Max Kellerman starts the broadcast by saying these were “the two best junior middleweights fighting at middleweight”. Williams was a nasty bastard, tall and lanky with  a mean punch, with Sergio’s signature frenetic style bouncing in and out and tagging with a left hand. They both hurt each other in a great R1 (both getting knockdowns). Sergio owns the first part of the fight with his speed and power and Williams is having trouble avoiding that right hound. R4 was a phenomenal round that’s worth going back and watching – Williams is bleeding badly at this point and both of them are just throwing hard leather and landing.

The fight continues like this, with both fighters hurting the other one and snapping each others’ heads back. Kellerman compares the fight to Ward-Gatti and while it didn’t quite get there it was fun and high level throughout. A draw would have been a fair outcome, and one judge (Julie Lederman) had the same card as me. The second judge scored 115-113 for Williams, which is acceptable, but the third judge scored it 118-110 (or 10-2 in rounds) for the American, which is gross. Another example of boxing judging marring a great fight.


April 17, 2010: Sergio Martinez (Argentina) UD12 Kelly Pavlik (USA)

STW Scorecard: Martinez 116-111 Pavlik

Immediately after facing the much avoided Williams, Martinez jumped into the ring with the middleweight boogeyman Kelly Pavlik, a big, heavy hitting strongman and lineal middleweight champion. Martinez put on a masterclass here of boxing – landing quick shots and getting out, making Pavlik follow him aimlessly around the ring, even clowning him a bit.

Pavlik finally reaches him and scores a knockdown in Round 7 – a balance shot more than anything, but still counts as a knockdown and swings the momentum of the fight. Martinez shows heart though, standing and trading and Kelly has both of his eyes cut badly by R10 and has withdrawn into a bloody shell of himself, tired and out of ideas, Martinez moving and boxing his way to a title.

Sergio Martinez (Argentina) KO2 Paul Williams (USA)

STW Scorecard: Martinez 10-9 Williams

Now with a title, Martinez immediately launched into a rematch with Williams. Expecting another tough battle after their Fight of the Year contender the first time around, this one went, well, a bit differently.

After a close first round, Martinez just fucking crushes Williams with an upstairs left hook that turns the American’s lights completely off. Knockout of the Year without question, and one of the best straight one-punch KO’s I’ve ever seen. Go look this up, right now.


March 12, 2011: Sergio Martinez (Argentina) TKO 8 Sergiy Dzinziruk (Ukraine)

STW Scorecard: Martinez 70-61 Dzinziruk 

Martinez made this challenger look like a basic ass statue. He’s so fast and unconventional that he just tagged circles around him while Dzindiruk throws slow, basic, helpless punches. I believe Martinez knocked him down on five occasions before the referee stepped in and finally stopped it in the 8th. That nasty left hook again!


October 1, 2011: Sergio Martinez (Argentina) KO11 Darren Barker (England)

STW Scorecard: Martinez 99-91 Barker

An admirable effort from Darren Barker, who came in really game but Martinez was just a couple of levels above. I rewatched this on YouTube and saw a British broadcast and I just don’t know wht the fuck they were watching – they had Barker winning through six which is absurd – but anyway, Sergio just beats Barker to the punch at every turn and in the back half of the fight literally just receives a beating. In R10 Martinez lands a nasty short right to the body that doubled Barker over in half and it’s frankly incredible that he didn’t go down from it. Halfway through the next round Barker goes down like a sack of bricks and doesn’t come close to beating the count – turns out he had a busted eardrum. Admirable effort from Barker but just totally outclassed by Martinez.


March 17, 2012: Sergio Martinez (Argentina) TKO11 Matthew Macklin (England)

STW Scorecard: Martinez 104-102 Macklin

I was at this one live at the MSG Theater and I have fond memories of this. This was a good, competitive fight, with Macklin landing well and actually winning the fight at the halfway point, and then scoring a knockdown in R7 when Sergio’s glove touched the canvas. Martinez doesn’t have him figured out at all though in R8, but right then he starts coming on. He picks up a string of rounds and then at the end of R11 Sergio lands a perfect left hand that has Macklin down on his ass, his face swilling up and bleeding badly. Sergio puts him down one more time before the round ends, and Macklin’s corner stops the fight between rounds, not wanting to send him out there for even one more round. Great fight, great finish.

September 15, 2012: Sergio Martinez (Argentina) UD12 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Mexico)

STW Scorecard: Martinez 118-109 Chavez Jr.

This was a big fight in the career of Sergio Martinez; simultaneously his coronation and the beginning of his downfall. His first PPV fight against the highly popular (and much, much bigger) young Mexican, Martinez boxed the massive Chavez’s ears off for 11 rounds putting on a masterclass performance. After pretty much sweeping every minute of the fight, Martinez gets macho in R12 and decides to trade. Big mistake.

This round was exciting, insane and absurd in so many ways. Halfway through Chavez hurt Sergio BADLY and started landing multiple shots flush upstairs. Martinez had blood streaming down his face and was seriously injured. He goes down, but when he gets up instead of holding or running he stands his ground and fights back until the bell.

Sergio took a win here, but he blew his knee out in that last round, an injury that would ultimately end his career.

There has been rumors on boxing media that Sergio and Chavez have been in talks on a potential rematch this year (2018) a fight that nobody wants and nobody should see. Just say no.


April 27, 2013: Sergio Martinez (Argentina) UD12 Martin Murray (England)

STW Scorecard: Martinez 113-115 Murray

I don’t know about this one. Martinez, clearly still compromised by that knee injury, took this homecoming fight in Argentina and probably lost it to the tough challenger in Murray. The fight was close enough that there was no way they were taking Sergio’s title from him in his home country, and let’s not speak of this fight ever again as a hobbled Sergio Martinez winning an undeserved hometown decision over a lifetime contender is not how I want to remember Maravilla.


June 7, 2014: Miguel Cotto (Puerto Rico) TKO10 Sergio Martinez (Argentina)

STW Scorecard: Cotto 90-77 Martinez

The bitter end for the lineal champ. This fight- which I went to live – makes me sad. Sergio, injured, inactive and approaching 40 years old, came in to this fight at Madison Square Garden with a massive knee brace and a brave face and not much else.

Turns out Martinez was cashing out, in what would be his final fight. He just had nothing for Cotto, who looked great, though it was a little hard to judge as Sergio was badly, badly compromised from the jump. His leg was unstable and he could barely move. Cotto came out quick and aggressive and Martinez just couldn’t handle it, getting knocked down three times in the first round alone. Cotto continued his assault as the rounds wore on, and Martinez showed heart to stay in it, but Cotto just dominated him every second. Cotto scored another knockdown in R9 when he caught Sergio with a jab coming in. After the round, his corner tells him his knees aren’t working and they have to stop it, ending the champion’s career. Great performance from Cotto, but with, unfortunately, an asterisk.




Random Thoughts 2018

My output on this blog has dropped considerably in the past couple of years (I’ve posted, like, twice a year the last three years) mainly because life got in the way. I started this blog in my mid twenties when I had moved to a new city where I didn’t know anybody and had a lot of downtime by myself, and it was great therapy and a chance to have a writing outlet outside of my job. I never had pretenses that anybody was reading it, and I didn’t really write it for anybody else. As I’ve gotten older (I can no longer call myself a “20-something”), advanced in my career and gotten more responsibilities, I haven’t had the time to sit down and spend an hour rambling about boxing or the last book I read, or get drunk off whiskey and write about watching NBA League Pass all night.

That doesn’t mean I don’t still love writing, boxing or books (I do), and I still try to have a non-work related creative outlet here and there, but the hours of the day seem to have slipped away from me recently. Every so often I get reminded that this space still exists – today, somebody randomly came through and liked my post from November of last year, which brought me back through here – and I’m happy that I spent time writing about things that interested me. I think it’s important to do something just for you sometimes, and this blog kind of is that. I don’t get paid to write here, none of my friends or family know I write this, and I get just ramble on about shit that is totally irrelevant to anybody but myself. And that’s kind of nice.

This blog was never a hidden, personal journal for me.  It was always something kind of without a point – and that was the point. It’s been kind of fun to explore what I wrote years ago and read through it – it’s a little like having a beer with a past self. So, knowing Future Me might be reading this somewhere down the road, I’m going to indulge for a second.

Since I’ve started writing in this space, I’ve moved cities. I’ve changed jobs and developed a pretty successful, pretty public career in which my work gets seen by a huge amount of people. I manage a team and have worked my way into being a respected person in my field. I’ve ended one long-term relationship end, which was bittersweet in the sense that I became much, much happier at the end of the relationship but I lost a lot of people that I cared about from my life forever. I’ve had another long-term relationship begin and prosper, and that’s given me a true taste of the every-day happiness I’ve been chasing for a long time. My parents have moved to the other side of the world. Some friends have gotten married and remain happily a part of my life, other friends have lost touch completely. I gave into the hints my hair had long been giving me and shaved my head. I’m thinking about getting married and having kids in the next handful of years. I’ve taken an improv class and made myself get uncomfortable in front of other people. I paid off my student loans a week before my 30th birthday. I tried to learn about investing and put a small amount of money in the stock market. In the past few months, for the first time, I saw numbers in my personal bank account actually start to go up instead of staying the same. I’ve wrote short social media films that have been seen by millions of people, and done things that I’m proud of. I’ve had some rough times, but I’ve put my head down and pushed through them.

In short, I’ve grown up a lot in the past few years. Yeah, I’ve still watched a lot of boxing and I’ve read a lot of books in the last couple of years.

I’m fucking excited for the future. I’m with the woman of my dreams in a way that I don’t question for a single day (other than wondering what I did to get so lucky). I have so much more world to explore, and I see fatherhood as something really around the bend. I want to write something and make something that I’m proud of, and have it succeed and not have to do with the platform I’m given through my job.

I’m excited for what’s ahead. Future Me – I know life has ups and downs always, but I hope in the grand scheme of things that things went well. Watch this space.

Boxing Rankings: June 2017


For the first time in a long time, the heavyweight division is actually interesting, with some rising stars, young guys with potential and power, and some old guys who can fight. Let’s take a look at the division. Everybody has their own ‘ranking’ system, but for the purposes of this blog, we’re going to rank the titleholders at the top followed by the top contenders. This is going to result in things like Klitschko being ranked below weaker fighters who have belts, but fuck it it’s my list so that’s how I’m gonna do it.

The Beltholders

#1 Anthony Joshua, England (19-0, 19 KO) (WBA, IBF) 

  • Overview: Joshua is the current rising star in the division and perhaps one of the biggest rising stars in the sport of boxing. He holds two of the belts, has shown impressive power and is a charismatic champion who seems destined for absolute superstardom, particularly after his Fight of the Year-worthy win over Wladimir Klitschko, in which he came off the canvas to stop the veteran titleholder and end his reign atop the division. The Klitschko win was far and away the best W on his resume, but big things are expected of Joshua moving forward.
  • Best Wins: TKO11 over Wladimir Klitschko, TKO7 over Dillian Whyte, TKO7 over Dominic Brezeale
  • Losses: N/A

#2 Deontay Wilder, USA (38-0, 37 KO) (WBC)

  • Overview: Wilder is a frustrating fighter, an athletic specimen with a nasty right hand who is labeled as the next great American heavyweight hope but who sports a paper-thing record and has shown a lot of deficiencies recently. Some of his weak resume is not his fault – he was scheduled to fight Alexander Povetkin before the Russian failed multiple drug tests – but he’s got a belt and it’s time to see him actually step up.
  • Best Wins: UD12 over Bermane Stiverne, KO9 over Artur Szpilka, TKO5 over Gerald Washington
  • Losses: N/A

#3 Joseph Parker, New Zealand (23-0, 18 KO) (WBO)

  • Overview: Parker is a much-hyped fighter and currently holds a belt as a heavyweight, but recents fights show a lot of deficiencies and problems at the top level. He was unimpressive in recent wins over average fighters, and the more we learn about him the more he seems like he’s maybe a level below the top-tier heaveyweights.
  • Best Wins: MD12 over Andy Ruiz Jr, UD12 over Carlos Takam, UD12 over Razvan Cojanu
  • Losses: N/A

The Top Contenders

#4 Wladimir Klitschko, Ukraine (64-5, 53 KO) 

  • Overview: Though the belts are all held by three undefeated young fighters, Klitschko is the OG of this division, ruling it for over a decade before losing to Joshua in a very closely contested fight. Klitschko would still probably be the favorite over any other fighter in this division, even though he’s coming off of two straight losses, and though some consider him bad for the division – his dominance, however impressive, was uninspiring to say the least – he is an all time great and surefire Hall of Famer. Very interested in a Joshua rematch after how good the first fight was.
  • Best (Recent) Wins: UD12 over Alexander Povetkin, KO5 over Kubrat Pulev, UD12 over David Haye
  • Recent Losses: TKO11 to Anthony Joshua, UD12 to Tyson Fury

#5 Tyson Fury, England (25-0, 18 KO)

  • Overview: I am struggling mightily with what to do with Tyson Fury. Fury is an enigma – he’s a huge guy, an awkward fighter who always seemed sort of fat and untalented, but who continually pulled out wins and was the man to dethrone the reign of Wladimir Klitschko and give himself the right to call himself the lineal heavyweight champion. Then he promptly left the sport, started doing copious amounts of cocaine and got really, super, crazy fat. He claims to be making a comeback, so we’ll see where he’s at when he comes back, but we’ll just slow him right here for now.
  • Best Wins: UD12 over Wladimir Klitschko, RTD10 over Dereck Chisora, KO7 over Steve Cunningham
  • Losses: N/A


#6 Luiz Ortiz, Cuba (27-0, 23 KO)

  • Overview: Ortiz is an incredibly dangerous fighter, a huge, muscular, scary guy with stupid power. He’s old, having gotten his career started late, and he doesn’t bring money or name recognition to the table. This makes him not very appealing to fight, and puts him int he unfortunate state of chasing one of the big guys to get in the ring with him. Here’s hoping he gets his chance sometime before he gets too old.
  • Best Wins: TKO7 over Bryant Jennings, KO6 over Tony Thompson
  • Losses: N/A


Other Notables (No Particular Order)

  • Kubrat Pulev, Bulgaria (25-1, 13 KO)
    • Best Wins: SD12 over Dereck Chisora, UD12 over Tony Thompson, TKO4 over Samuel Peter
    • Losses: KO5 to Wladimir Klitschko
  • Andy Ruiz Jr, USA (29-1, 19 KO)
    • Best Wins: RTD4 over Ray Austin, UD10 over Franklin Lawrence
    • Losses: SD12 to Joseph Parker
  • Dominic Breazeale, USA (18-1, 16 KO)
    • Best Wins: KO5 over Izuagbe Ugonoh, RTD5 over Amir Mansour, UD10 over Fred Kassi
    • Losses: TKO7 to Anthony Joshua
  • Dillian Whyte, England (20-1, 15 KO)
    • Best Wins: SD12 over Dereck Chisora, UD10 over David Allen
    • Losses: TKO7 to Anthony Joshua
  • Charles Martin, USA (24-1-1, 22 KO)
    • Best Wins: TKO3 over Vyacheslav Glazkov
    • Losses: KO2 to Anthony Joshua
  • Christian Hammer, Romania (22-4, 12 KO)
    • Best Wins: SD12 over Erkan Teper, TKO7 over David Price
    • Recent Losses: RTD8 to Tyson Fury


NBA Summer Previews: Southwest Division

Again, we are having a guest writer in for some NBA summer team previews.  I have no inside knowledge whatsoever and these are just meant to give an idea of where teams are at as a whole as we head into draft and free agency season. This is part 3 of the series – click below for previous versions:



San Antonio Spurs

  • 2015-16 record: 67-15
  • Finish: 2nd place, eliminated in second round
  • Team Leaders
    • Scoring: Kawhi Leonard (22.5)
    • Rebounds: LaMarcus Aldridge (8.3)
    • Assists: Tony Parker (5.3)
    • Blocks: LaMarcus Aldridge (1.4)
  • Restricted free agents: Boban Marjanovic
  • Unrestricted free agents: Matt Bonner, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Kevin Martin, Andre Miller, David West
  • Draft picks: 29th

Last season overview: The Spurs turned in an under-the-radar historic season, nearly going undefeated at home in the regular season (losing just once) and winning 67 games. This was one of the most formidable all-time regular season teams – they just happened to be overshadowed by Golden State’s excellence. The team was experiencing a changing of the guard last year, with budding superstar Kawhi Leonard and free agent signee LaMarcus Aldridge assuming the mantle as the present and future of the team while mainstays Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili began to show their age. The team hit a wall in the playoffs as they were upset by the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder in six hard-fought games. Seeing as the Thunder nearly went on to upset the Warriors, there’s no shame in that loss – but it still feels like a disappointing end to what would most years have likely been a championship-winning team.

Summer outlook: With Duncan and Ginobili pondering retirement, this summer could be the true changing of the guard as the old leaves and the team rebuilds completely around Leonard and Aldridge. It will be interesting to see what kind of offers the enormous but unproven Marjanovic gets on the restricted free agent market, and how much the Spurs value him to bring him back. As long as Gregg Popovich is at the helm, the Spurs are going to be good, and will be a free agent destination. Expect this team to be in the mix again.

Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

  • 2015-16 record: 42-40
  • Finish: 6th place, eliminated in first round
  • Team Leaders
    • Scoring: Dirk Nowitzki (20.4)
    • Rebounds: Zaza Pachulia (5.4)
    • Assists: J.J. Barea (5.0)
    • Blocks: Saleh Mejri (1.3)
  • Restricted free agents: Dwight Powell
  • Unrestricted free agents: Raymond Felton, David Lee, Dirk Nowitzki, Zaza Pachulia, Chandler Parsons, Charlie Villanueva, Deron Williams
  • Draft picks: 46th

Last season overview: The always-contending Mavs took a step back last season in terms of talent and expectations, after an offseason that saw them lose Tyson Chandler and swing and miss on free agent DeAndre Jordan. However, they far exceeded expectations, making the playoffs with a banged-up and ragtag group of veteran castoffs. Nowitzki continues to play well in his old age, and guys like Zaza Pachulia, Deron Williams and JJ Barea looked better then they had in years playing under Rick Carlisle. The team was never a serious contender, but made the playoffs and took a game from the red-hot Thunder in what has to be considered a successful season overall.

Summer outlook: With Nowitzki certain to resign a three-year deal after a year that feels good, the Mavs will always have him as their centerpiece. The rest of the roster, as it feels like is the case every year with this team under Mark Cuban, is likely to change. Parsons is a big decision, as injuries have prevented him from living up to the contract he signed when he left Houston for Dallas a couple of years back. There are a lot of ways this team could go, but expect them to be active in free agency and continue to look different each year.


Memphis Grizzlies

  • 2015-16 record: 42-40
  • Finish: 7th place, eliminated in first round
  • Team Leaders
    • Scoring: Zach Randolph (13.0)
    • Rebounds: Zach Randolph (8.8)
    • Assists: Jordan Farmar (4.0)
    • Blocks: JaMychal Green (1.3)
  • Restricted free agents: Bryce Cotton, Xavier Munford
  • Unrestricted free agents: Chris Andersen, Matt Barnes, Mike Conley, Jordan Farmar, PJ Hairston, Ryan Hollins, Lance Stephenson
  • Draft picks: 17th, 57th

Last season overview: The Grit-and-Grind Grizzlies era may have seen its final bell toll last season, as the Grizzlies were a depressing slog of a team that scratched and clawed their way to a playoff spot but after a wave of crushing injuries were mere fodder for the Spurs, getting swept out of the playoffs in four blowout losses. They played an antiquated style of basketball, saw stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley go down to season-ending injuries, played a slew of anonymous fringe NBA players down the stretch, and ended by firing coach Dave Joerger. The Grizz may have become the hardest team to watch by the end of last season. Truly the end of an era.

Summer outlook: First and foremost, resigning star point guard Conley has to be their top priority. Past that, anything could happen – big men Gasol and Randolph are under contract, but as aging veterans on a team in transition, who knows where they’ll go from here. Our expectation is that they continue to value being a contending if not quite championship level team, so will avoid a full rebuild – but if Conley leaves, who knows.


Houston Rockets

  • 2015-16 record: 41-41
  • Finish: 8th place, eliminated in first round
  • Team Leaders
    • Scoring: James Harden (26.6)
    • Rebounds: Dwight Howard (14.0)
    • Assists: James Harden (7.6)
    • Blocks: Dwight Howard (1.4)
  • Restricted free agents: Terence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas
  • Unrestricted free agents: Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Jason Terry
  • Draft picks: 37th, 43rd


Last season overview: After a season in which James Harden finished second in MVP voting and the team made an epic run to the Western Conference Finals, the Rockets brought nearly the exact same team back and they became a mess and perhaps the most disappointing team in the league last year. The Rockets were viewed as a preseason title contender, but wound up getting off to an awful start that saw them fire coach Kevin McHale after a handful of games, rumored infighting between stars Harden and Howard and a team that never seemed to like each other, click together or give much of an effort at all throughout the season. They squeaked into the playoffs as an eight seed, getting blown out in five by a Warriors team missing Steph Curry for most of the series. In a season of high expectations, this was a team with very few bright spots.

Summer outlook: The Rockets started the summer off by hiring Mike D’Antoni as their coach of the future, clearly doubling down on the offensive talents of Harden and looking to play a run-and-gun style rather than focusing on defense. This also seems to signal the departure of Howard, who has a player option for next year and is widely believed to be leaving. This is a team in major flux, and GM Daryl Morey has never shied away from making moves. Chalk this up as another team that is going to look completely different next season.


New Orleans Pelicans

  • 2015-16 record: 30-52
  • Finish: 12th place, missed playoffs
  • Team Leaders
    • Scoring: Anthony Davis (24.3)
    • Rebounds: Anthony Davis (10.3)
    • Assists: Jrue Holiday (6.0)
    • Blocks: Anthony Davis (2.0)
  • Restricted free agents: James Ennis, Tim Frazier
  • Unrestricted free agents: Ryan Anderson, Norris Cole, Alonzo Gee, Eric Gordon, Jordan Hamilton, Kendrick Perkins
  • Draft picks: 6th, 39th, 40th


Last season overview: The Pelicans were another team that took an unexpected step back last year. After making the playoffs in 2014-15, the Pelicans were expected to continue their improvement, and star Anthony Davis was a darkhorse preseason MVP candidate. Instead, the Pelicans were never able to get off the ground, as a litany of early-season injuries dug them into a hole they could never recover from. This has been a snakebit roster, as key cogs like Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson found themselves often injuried during their tenure in New Orleans, not making the impact they were expected to at any point in their tenure. The team ended their season playing guys off the street big minutes, and looking nothing like what they promised to be before the beginning of the season. Head coach Alvin Gentry, in his first year at the helm, has to be looking to regroup going into year 2.

Summer outlook: The Pelicans have a lot of decisions to make, not least of what to do with Anderson and Gordon, two players who were onetime keys to the team’s plans but did not wind up moving the needle for various reasons. They probably need to rebuild the team around franchise centerpiece Davis, but have to do it in a smart way – Davis will be in his prime for the next four years, and it’d be a shame if that prime was wasted on a middling team.



Boxing is an Asshole

I love boxing, personally. It’s literally the personification of the primal human feeling that all other sports play tap into to ignite our passions: war.

It’s two people in a ring, nothing between them but a pair of gloves and one referee, fighting. No hoops, fields, sticks, balls, nothing. Just two people having it out. Whether you’ve grown up in NYC or in a remote backwoods country with nothing but Latin soap operas coming out of a black and white TV, you see a boxing match, and you understand what’s happening, at least on some level. It’s arguably the purest sport we have.

And it is a massive, massive dickhead. The people in charge – the promoters, the sanctioning bodies, the commissions – range from ‘borderline criminal’ to ‘actual criminal’, the sport is constructed in a way that the best fighters don’t ever have to fight each other, 99% of fighters make no money and wind up paying for their participation with years of their lives, and all in all, the whole thing is fucking gross. The only saving grace is that we’re seeing the pinnacle of what the human body can achieve in the most taxing, lonely, physically draining way possible.


OK, maybe pinnacle of what the human body can achieve is a little dramatic

What keeps boxing heads  coming back is the fact that in the ring, there’s no one to save you. There’s no subs to come in when you’re tired, no teammates to pick up the slack when you’re having an off night. If you’re losing, it’s just you in there.

Unfortunately, sometimes boxing even fucks that up.

Last week, on a nationally broadcast NBC card, Al Haymon’s fledgling Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series was back, showcasing an up and coming rock star Errol Spence Jr. officially announcing his presence on the scene with a five-round mauling of veteran Chris Algieri. However, my excitement at watching Spence was tempered, because in the undercard fight before it, the PBC, judges and referees involved committed an absolute atrocity and singlehandedly ripped away an earned chance to make a career from an unknown fighter, for the simple fact that he was unknown.

24 year old Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KO) of Serbia came into the undercard fight as a clear B-side to the undefeated Marcus Browne (17-0, 13 KO), a 25-year old former American Olympian and one of the PBC’s highly touted young prospects. With the PBC hemorrhaging money, a result of artificially inflated purses and a lack of a competitive matchmaking, they need their young talent like Browne to make good on their promise so they can cash in on them someday. And they sure did everything to make sure that that happened.


A tatted up dude from an Eastern European country with an unpronounceable name is not a cash cow for the PBC. Thus, Kalajdzic was brought in to the Barclays Center last week to lose. Browne was there to get tested, get some rounds in and win. Long story short: he didn’t. Browne proved to be a total dud in the ring, unable to get any kind of offense going, excessively holding and frequently getting popped with hooks by the Serbian.

After trading off the first couple of rounds, Browne spent much of the second half of their 8-round affair looking completely out of ideas, not even pretending to fight in lieu of desperate grabs on his opponent, and even in the 6th round winding up straight on his ass with a dazed look on his face as the Serb scored a nasty knockdown. However, when the decision was read, Browne came out the winner – resulting in lusty boos from his own hometown crowd, which knew it was witnessing a crime. Let’s count the ways in which boxing failed Kalajdzic:


  • In the first round, Kalajdzic slipped during a non-contact motion as he pivoted away from Browne and fell to the canvas. Browne then jumped in and landed a light shot to the side of his head. In normal circumstances, this should probably have resulted in a stern warning to Browne, if not a point deduction. Instead, incredibly, referee Tony Chiarantano, who should probably be in jail, ruled it a knockdown for Browne (which, incidentally, made the difference on the scorecards).


  • Chiarantano, who again, should probably be in federal prison, allowed Browne to get away with an unheard-of amount of holding in the fight, never coming close to taking a point away or even telling him to stop it. One boxer was trying to fight in there – one was not.


  • Two judges scored the fight for Browne, while one gave the fight to Kalajdzic. I scored the fight 76-74 for Radivoje (even scoring the first round 10-8 according to the referee’s atrocious decision), and though that may seem like it was a close/toss-up fight, it really wasn’t. The decision was close on the card but clear as day.


As a result, Marcus Browne gets to go on being an undefeated prospect, and Kalajdzic goes…where, exactly? Again, he’s a foreign fighter with an unpronounceable name, he has zero name value for the bigger guns of the division, and he falls back into the scrap heap with the other dozens of nameless prospect/contenders fighting on the fringes of the sport. He didn’t look like a world-beater, either, but that’s not the point.

In theory, boxing, in a romantic sort of way, is the fairest sport. Just two men in there with nothing between them but their skills. With the amount of corruption involved, the sport rips away lives and livelihoods, even outside of the ring. Always has and probably always will. It takes everything from these guys inside the ring, and just outside of it stand the vultures ready to feast, before the fighters’ blood has even dried from their gloves.

Boxing is an asshole.


Well, hello.

It’s been about a year since I’ve written anything on here and I have to say, I miss the hell out of writing self-absorbed thinkpieces about bands nobody’s heard of, recapping boxing matches nobody but me has watched and drinking whiskey and ruminating about rando books that came out a decade ago. I actually, really, do miss this.

I got a new job in content creation where I’m tasked with creating and distributing content for a very well-known brand and distributing that content to (literally) millions of people on a daily basis. It’s a dream job, incredibly liberating, and I know how lucky I am. But it’s a time consuming gig and thus I have a little less time to sit there and pretend to be a faux-intellectual as I wax poetic about 140-pound Mexican fighters while I drink a glass of bourbon. But I sure do miss talking to the wall in the corner of the internet here on this little WordPress site.

So, fuck it! I’m going to keep inconsistently updating this page , but it’ll always be here for me, anytime I have a minute and maybe someday, years down the road, I’ll read this in the future and crack a little smile at how young, dumb and self absorbed I was in my 20s.




Fighting Words: Quantity over Quality

So, fine, this blog has been slacking heavily. Life has gotten in the way, and since I get, you know, paid to do other things in life plus am trying to keep a semblance of a social life there just hasn’t been time to crank up the ol’ WordPress and write about totally irrelevant things like literature, boxing or the next big band that blows people’s minds at 2 AM. Which is probably a mistake as said band linked to my review of their show and skyrocketed the views to this site earlier this month, which was ultimately wasted as I responded by not writing on here for weeks. What up, momentum! But, I digress, and goddammit I’m going to try to remain as consistent as possible.

Onto boxing.

This past weekend held a lot of boxing. Unfortunately, most of it was shit. That said, there were some things that went on that are worth talking about. There was also a lot (like the Russian card with Ruslan Provodnikov fighting a washed up husk of Jose Luis Castillo and Mickey Rourke fighting a homeless man) that will not be touched here.

Fight Recap: Terence Crawford UD12 Ray Beltran

Sometime the Wolf score: Crawford 119 – 109 Beltran

Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 KO), a fighter-of-the-year candidate and a budding HBO star fighter, dominated top lightweight contender Ray Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KO) in a fight that was never really that close. Crawford, who said after the fight he was moving up from the lightweight division, was defending his WBO lightweight title for the second straight time in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is a legitimate local draw and turned in a star-making performance back in June as he wiped the floor with contender Yuriorkis Gamboa in an exciting and action-filled fight.

Last night’s match was not an exciting, action-filled fight. While Crawford was utterly dominant, often switching fighting stances in mid round and keeping Beltran at the end of a sharp jab (fighting out of southpaw, Crawford’s right jab in particular was nasty), Crawford was able to outwork and outclass Beltran in every way. Beltran deserved the title shot and is a tough, veteran fighter who is as good as the (admittedly weak) lightweight division has to offer. But Crawford was on another level from start to finish, robbing the fight of any drama.

Crawford is a cerebral fighter, one with great technical skills and decent pop but not one who is going to take any unnecessary risks or start a slugfest unless one is brought to him, the way Gamboa did over the summer. His performance last night, though dominant, is not going to make him a household name. He seems like a nice kid, but his personality is a quiet one and is not going to carry him into the limelight on its own. He will need dance partners to become the king. He looks talented enough to be a pound-for-pound star–let’s see how he looks against a higher level of competition as he moves up in weights.

Fight Recap: Tyson Fury TKO10 Dereck Chisora

Meanwhile, in London: in what was a horrendous fight with no redeeming qualities, Gypsy fighter Tyson Fury (23-0, 17 KO) stopped an over-the-hill looking and punchless Dereck Chisora (20-5, 13 KO) when Chisora quit on his stool after ten rounds of getting repeatedly jabbed in the face as he slowly stumbled towards Fury and made vague punching motions at him. In a year with a lot of really terrible fights, this was up there as one of the worst, and announcers reported that 2/3rds of the crowd had left by the time this ended. Fury is a huge dude with some skills, but this was terrible and let’s never speak of it again.

Photo of Dereck Chisora. Punchless…get it? …I’ll be here all week

Fight Recap: Billy Joe Saunders SD Chris Eubank Jr. 

Sometime the Wolf score: Saunders 114-114 Eubank Jr.

Billy Joe Saunders busts out his fly dance moves in the club

In what was the best fight of the weekend and a matchup of up and coming 25-year-old prospects, Saunders (21-0, 11 KO) took a close split decision from Eubank Jr. (18-1, 13 KO). Saunders started fast, Eubank Jr. came on in the middle rounds and then they seemed to fight on even terms through the end of the fight. Both fighters probably came out of the bout respectably–Saunders’ experience showed through and he probably deserved to take the decision, and Eubank Jr. showed his talent and athleticism and with better work from his corner and a better gameplan could have taken this fight.

If Eubank Jr. puts in the work, he could be decent–he looked fast and had power, though he was a bit sloppy and clumsy looking. Saunders will likely always be a Euro-level fighter rather than world-class–he just doesn’t seem to do anything on an A-level. I’d guess his ceiling to be maybe Matthew Macklin-level, with a couple title shots but never being known as the top dog.