An attitude of gratitude can at various time and for some folks be a chore—but the older I get the more I realize it is a useful exercise.
So, I reached out to the NYF crew, as hard working, as diligent, as decent, as grateful a squad I’ve not been acquianted with, to get their thanks-givings…and also to some of the other good people I regularly deal with inside the sphere of the fight game.
Confession: My favorite reply came from the delightfully salty promoter Brooklyn born and looking forward to his 88th birthday next month…Point being there that Bob Arum has earned to the right to go the Scrooge-ish route if not in a sentimental mood.
Check out the offerings…and please do have a fine day, all good people…Thank you for your loyalty to NYF!
“Doesn't always work, but I try to be obsessed with being grateful,” said John Gatling. “It makes being really thankful for life and able to serve the barely living on this day very humbling. To be one of the leading opinion voices in a sport of honorable war, is an honor that warms the heart. I wish everyone joy.”
“This year has been great and there is a lot to be thankful for,” said Abe Gonzalez. “I am thankful for spending another year with my wife who supports me 100% in my Marine Corps career and my role with NYFights! I am also thankful for the health and success of my family and friends. Last but certainly not least, I am thankful for the confidence that Woodsy has in me and the opportunities that have been presented because of it!”
“Personally, I'm thankful for my wife, Rachel, and all the good things our higher power has given to us over the past year,” said Kelsey McCarson. “We have both worked really hard to make big changes to our lives and I'm grateful for the opportunity to see those things through. In boxing, I'm thankful for Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, two heavyweight champions unafraid to fight the best competition out there. This is what a heavyweight champion is supposed to do: dare to be great.”
“Thankful for my family and good health, for friends and the ability to work and contribute towards a productive society. Within boxing I am thankful for everyone connected to NY FIGHTS for giving my writing a place to be seen. Also the boxers who get in the ring and give their all for the fans. Last but not least the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the sport ticking over. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends in America,” said Colin Morrison. “Have a great day!”
“I’m thankful for what Boxing has given me in life. Walking into a gym as a angry, lazy 15 year old for the sport to slap me in the face and make me realize I’m a tiny fish in a massive pond is something I’ll always be indebted too,” said Chris Glover. “Boxing taught me how to be a good person, how to work hard, how to respect people and how to help others. Without boxing, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Boxing has helped me through the toughest parts of my life, it helped me gain a career in sport, but it was there for me when I had injuries, when I was recovering from a stab wound in the face and when I’ve battled depression. Boxing never left me. Boxing made me believe in myself. That’s why I am thankful to Boxing this thanksgiving and every thanksgiving going forward. I simply love Boxing more than life itself.”
Said Hamza Ahmed: “Thankful for inside of boxing – Let's go all the way in without messing about, I'm thankful for the 3 blind mice known as the judges, corruption, in house fights, watching fights happen way past their sell-by date, fights getting cancelled because someone thought it'd be a good idea to ingest banned substances, cherry picking, multiple cards running simultaneously, crass behavior (hey Adrien Broner), unprofessionalism, ultra marination and many other misgivings. LOL on a serious note, I'm thankful boxing is on pretty much every week, thankful to you Michael Woods for giving me a platform to write about boxing, for those magical nights in the Manchester Arena (looking at you Usyk V Bellew), the fights which morph into a life of their own and become fight of the year contenders, to every fighter who steps in the ring (especially those taking on gargantuan risks), the fight night parties, when upsets happen (#TeamUnderdog baby), for HBO (Rest in Piece come December) and when a big fight happens, the hype is insane. Thankful outside of boxing for – the 3 F's (faith, family and friends), my teachers and elders, the basic yet imperative things in life (roof over my head, clean water to drink, senses which work, eyesight, health, an education, companionship, food on the table, electricity and utilities, clean oxygen etc), thankful for another day and probably the most important thing I'm thankful for – staying up until 6 AM every Saturday night with the boxing on the laptop, the PlayStation on the TV and with a big ass bowl of salted popcorn with M&M’s!”
Said Lou Dibella, the promoter. “I’m thankful to God for a loving family and my many good friends who have become an extension of my family. I’m thankful for my health and for every day I wake up able to do my thing. I’m really fortunate to be able to afford stuff and to go to nice places and do cool things but, as I get older, I realize more and more that “things” don’t matter. It’s about people (and pets), friendship, love, kindness, and peace of mind and heart. This week marks my 30th anniversary in boxing. I’m grateful to still be here, and for the extraordinary athletes, artists, writers, leaders, and other fascinating men and women I’ve met because of this sport. I’m also thankful for my Richmond Flying Squirrel and Montgomery Biscuit baseball families, and for the rewarding work I get to do outside of the fight game; this breadth of experiences helps to provide some mental balance, which I need and don’t take for granted. Happy Thanksgiving to all.”
“Fuck it,” said promoter Bob Arum, iconic deal-maker. “Enough with the sissy shit.”
“Sports,” said living legend George Foreman, asked for his grateful list. “It goes from basketball to football, World Series. The Big Wilder fight coming. Tiger Woods winning the other day. So many losses living this life. Family, friends Even business. Every year you say Lord, what’s next? Then you think Yankees gonna pull it off. Stand by your Super Bowl pick, even praying for a win. Each year you say “Next year.” So thankful for sports!”
“Boxing: that there’s more money and interest in boxing than ever before,” said Golden Boy executive Eric Gomez. “DAZN, Fox and ESPN stepped up and are paying the same amount of money as other major sports. Personal thanks giving-for my health and families health!”
“Outside of boxing I’m thankful for my big supportive family. Inside boxing- I’m grateful for my boxing family! All the coaches, promoters, sparring partners, my managers and training partners and opponents,” said Heather Hardy, the recently crowned champ. “Without all of them and their trust and faith in me, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
“I am thankful for my family and being able to do what I love to do,” said the promoter Dmitriy Salita. “Everything I do is connected to boxing in one way or another. I am thankful for the talented fighters I work with, their health, accomplishments, and focus on continued success. Last but not least I am grateful that the sport of boxing is in a very healthy place, growing and thriving every day!”
“Thankful for inside boxing Buddy Larosa, Cincinnati Golden Gloves boxers, the Al Haymon developmental company, all my world champions, Adrien “The Problem” Broner, Raushee Warren, Robert Easter Jr, Jamel Herring and my secretary Denise DuBose,” said Ohio Mike Stafford. “Outside the boxing, my big brother Gary Stafford and his wife Jackie Stafford, then entire Larosa family, and all the boxing fans and friends in my life!”
“Inside of boxing I’m grateful for all the people/fighters I get to meet and train with, I’m grateful for the opportunity TOP RANK is giving me to be part of the family,” said fighter Chris Van Heerden. “I’m receiving a lot of love and support at the moment with the good news that was announced Wednesday. Boxing has taught me how to work hard and be disciplined. Outside of boxing I have people that love me and motivate me everyday. I have friends that are REAL. I’m grateful for boxing because it has given me a platform outside of boxing where I get to meet and talk with kids/people and share my story. To some extent it has given a voice to motivate others. GOD is good! I’m truly blessed.”
“Thankful for family, friends and the opportunity to work so closely with some of the greatest athletes of this generation,” said Chris Zoller, the day to day runner of Everlast.