Tis that time of year when many Americans frequently gather with family and friends, over indulge in food and drink, trade chatter and updates on what they've been up to.
These are interesting times, with ripples and waves of change permeating the sphere of politics and corridors of leadership, and thus, uncertainty in many hearts and minds of our citizenry.
Perhaps as much as any recent Thanksgiving in memory, then, many folks are feeling uncertainty. Maybe, then, it's especially wise to take stock in what it is you have to be thankful for.
We in the media skew heavy in covering topics of unrest and controversy, less well in matters pertaining to gratitude and optimism. Please check out these offerings from fight game notable, telling what they are thankful for in these oft choppy times. And may you accept this salute, for steering clear of political talk at the dinner table!
JOELLE AZOULAY, pound for pound good soul top ten, TALKBOX fan par excellence, WATER AID worker: “I'm thankful that despite uncertainty caused by the actions around us, hope is unwavering because I get to be on the front lines, even if tangentially. Thankful to have learned the lesson that not all people who do good in the world are saints or belong on pedestals – it is their actions that help people that belong on pedestals. I'm thankful to work with so many incredibly smart people, who I also get to call my friends.”
SHAWN CAMERON, pro boxer, veteran, NYer: “What's not to be thankful for bro, I'm alive, healthy, currently surrounded by friends and family. I've had it bad before and life is great at the moment, probably not perfect but looking back, I know where I could've been so I can't complain. I'm not dead or in jail lol life is good.”
JERRY CAPOBIANCO, trainer to 175 contender Joe Smith: “First I'm so thankful for my wife and daughters for allowing me to pursue my dreams of building a world champion. I'm so thankful that I'm going to be a grandfather any day now. I'm so proud and thankful for receiving the trainer of the year award from Ring 8. I'm also so thankful for the Fonfara win and for the opportunity on December 17. I'm thankful that the training camp is going so well. And Joe's weight is on point at 181 lbs three weeks before the fight. Lastly, I'm thankful that I'm in a position that a reporter is asking me what I'm thankful for.
ANTHONY CATANZARO, Barclays Center/Brooklyn Boxing executive: “I'm wishing for health and world peace and happiness. On the boxing side, I'm proud of the two fight of the year candidates at Barclays Center in 2016!”
LOU DIBELLA, promoter and shrinking violet: “Happy Thanksgiving Mike to you and the ladies. I'm grateful for my family and the many friends I've been blessed with.”
GEORGE FOREMAN, heavyweight legend, grillmaster: “This is the most happy Thanksgiving, just after an election, family is split and now they all unite over a turkey. USA is a special place 'cause of this day to see family, people watching and waiting for their mom to do pies. Happy Thanksgiving!”
JOHN GATLING, truth spitter for NYFIGHTS: “I am truly, truly thankful for the health and continued growth of my children and those of families around the world. For the brave men and women who fight for their lives and risk for glory.”
HEATHER HARDY, boxer/MMAer, repping BROOKLYN: “I'm thankful for my family, my friends, and my health! God has blessed me with another year that I'll be able to fight!”
NOELLE HICKEY, Everlast TALKBOX producer: “I am thankful for starting a new career with such a welcoming team and getting to meet so many great people in the process. Being a part of Everlast’s first podcast! And especially thankful for hopefully almost being done with this master’s degree!”
BERNARD HOPKINS, ageless wonder: “Happy Thanksgiving Micheal. I am thankful that I had a great boxing career for 28 years!”
ERIC KELLY, entertrainer at Gleason's Gym and VICE media personality: “I am thankful for the sport as a whole. It's because of boxing that I am somebody. I am thankful for PBC and every fighter who risked their life for my entertainment, regardless of their promotional umbrella. From Gleason's Gym, to RINGmagazine and TalkBox, I thank you for allowing me a platform to voice my opinion. EVERLAST, I thank you for your continued support and dominance in terms of merchandise. Terrence Crawford, thank you. Shawn Porter, thank you. Keith Thurman, thank you. Abner Mares, thank you. Danny Jacobs, thank you. Leo Santacruz, thank you. Danny Garcia, thank you. Shakur Stevenson, thank you. Kid Chocolate, thank you. Claressa Shields, thank you. GGG, thank you. Ward and Kovalev, thank you. I want you all to stay blessed and continue to #GetYourEricKellyOn!”
MARC LIVITZ, Texas based lefty and scribbler: “Thankful to be vertical & healthy. Kids and wife too. Hope all is well for ya in NYC!”
JESSE MAGDALENO, hungry rumbler: “I'm thankful for living to see another day and getting the time to spend with my family and my son and wife.”
SERGIO MORA, world class prizefighter: “This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for Al Haymon! LOL!”
COLIN MORRISON, Scottish fight scribe for NYFIGHTS: “I'm thankful for my family. My parents; always helping and supporting me when needed. My siblings; can't imagine a better brother and sister to grow up with and pleased we are still close as adults. My wife; a great life partner and brilliant mother to our two children. My kids; Jake and Evie I feel so blessed that they are both healthy, happy children and watching them grow each day is my greatest pleasure. I am thankful for the opportunity to work hard and provide for my family, thankful that working provides me with the opportunity to spend some of my time off travelling, and dare I say it attending boxing in different locations. Speaking of boxing, I am thankful the sport exists, thankful to all the boxers for doing what they do, thankful that it is truly a global sport and also that so many great writers scribble about it. In the past few months I am especially thankful to the boxing community for welcoming me. I appreciate the support and constructive criticism I have received so far – long may it continue! I will end this by saying that where I am from we don't do Thanksgiving but I am familiar with what it entails. I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all readers who will be celebrating and hope you all have a great day with your families.
DAVID PHILLIPS, Hoosier state boxing writer, for NYFIGHTS: “2016 has not been anyone's idea of a marvelous year. Too many deaths, too many controversies, too much unrest.. 2017 will likely come with new and possibly harsher challenges than this year of great lament. But we are still here. We can still fight. And so we will. I am thankful for that.”
PETER QUILLIN, ex champ and chocolateer: “God, Health, Family, and Boxing ????????????.”
“DEDHAM” FREDDIE ROACH, trainer extraordinaire: “I'm thankful for all my fighters working hard and doing a good job, for Manny Pacquiao still being a real good fighter and for me being able to keep on working in the sport I love.”
DERRIC ROSSY, rock solid heavyweight: “I'm thankful for a lot of stuff but I will try and keep it brief. In the realm of boxing I am grateful for my health and also for the sport itself. The sport of boxing has always given me a drive that echoes in all facets of my life. I personally feel that boxing has taught me so much not just about myself but about life in general. Boxing is the greatest mold I believe in shaping a would-be great person. I'm grateful for the challenges it presents me because without them I would have never grown as an athlete or a person. I for sure never would have been the man I am today that my wife and child love if it wasn't for boxing. Boxing has given and still is showing me ways to persevere and to be a better person. So I am thankful that boxing for me has given me the life I have today and especially for the people who surround me, they are champions in their own right!”
CLARESSA SHIELDS, two time gold medalist, 1-0 as a pro: “Around this time, I'm thankful for a lot of things. I'm thankful for my family because they come in all different shapes and sizes but we all come together to remind each other why we are the way we are, and we all have a small piece of each other inside. I'm thankful for my friends, not just today but all throughout the year as we help each other so much. And lastly I'm thankful for my blessings and my own heart and way of thinking. God blessed me with a strong mind and good heart and I just continue to try and help people and deliver good vibes.”
DMITRY SALITA, Brooklyn based promoter: “I am thankful for having the opportunity to be in the sport I love and grew up in!”
BRUCE SILVERGLADE, owner of new Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn, NY: “I'm thankful for good health, a new gym and the USA.”
MARK TAFFET, PPV nation builder, boxing consultant and manager: “On this most special day I give thanks for keeping my family safe and near me — mom, dad, wife, kids, grandkids, brothers, nieces, nephews. And I give thanks that I am born, bred and living in the greatest country in the world — the U S of A!”
“BRIGHTON” BOBBY TRIEGER, boxing publicist: “Thankful to be working the best nationally televised boxing series, “Knockout Night at the D”, which showcases tomorrow's stars now. Most thankful for my daughter's wedding this past October. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Also thankful for our long-lasting friendship through all the ups and downs in life!”
ANSON WAINWRIGHT, RING contributor: “I am thankful to boxing for always keeping me on my toes, just when you think you have a handle on something, things change. The cast in boxing, from media, promoters, managers and trainers is always entertaining…not to mention the fighters! Although we haven't had all the fights we've hoped for this year, we've still had entertaining bouts featuring Vargas-Salido, Thurman-Porter and Cuadras-Gonzalez, big events such as GGG-Brook, Canelo-Khan and Kovalev-Ward, the emergence on the world scene of potential stars like Oleksandr Usyk, Errol Spence and Oscar Valdez and we still have bouts like Lomachenko-Walters, Crawford-Molina, Parker-Ruiz, Hopkins-Smith and the now traditional year end gluttony of title fights in Japan to look forward to before the year end. What's not to like?”
MICHAEL WOODS, publisher/editor of NYFIGHTS: “Thanks be to all good souls! I have a family to be proud of and which nurtures my soul. And I'm grateful for the wisdom I've been able to accumulate and for times when I have a proper handle on perspective of this life. Thanks to you all for reading and watching and listening!”
BRETT YORMARK, runs BARCLAYS CENTER in BROOKLYN: “I'm thankful for family, friends and Brooklyn boxing!”