Change Simply Is



Change Simply Is

One of my favorite quotes of the Mad Men series was from the main character Don Draper: “Change is not good or bad; it simply is.” That is where we the writers of NY Fights find ourselves today on the precipice of a major change, as Michael Woods is moving to do other things.

When writing for NY Fights, I had a personal rule that I did not want to write anything from a first-person perspective. The fighters or the people in the fight game were who I wanted the focus on. Today I need to break that rule.

My affiliation with NY Fights has been something that I have been proud of and if I am being honest is something that I bragged about.

A nearly thirty-year journey took me back to my journalistic roots from what is now my chosen field, education technology. NY Fights help create the verisimilitude of living in both worlds, chasing my business dreams while writing again for an audience, in a sport that still very much matters to so many people.

Like most of my newer boxing stories it starts with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing. My tech company had gotten and agreement to help with social media and promotion for the “Rockin’ Fights” series. It was less than a lucrative partnership, a theme that has plagued me throughout my boxing affiliation, but it was one of the most fulfilling deals I have done in my career. It also started me on a journey that I hope never ends.

Met Michael Woods During Talkbox Podcast Hit

While working with Star Boxing on Rockin’ Fights 37, I met Mike Woods. Johnny Hernandez and Danny Gonzales were set for a rematch and as part of the promotion we got to be on Woodsy's podcast.

It was a tremendous experience for both fighters but also for me. So much so, I shamelessly tried to get on myself as a guest to kind of hock my tech wears for boxers. Woodsy politely declined in a Woodsy kind of way.

As my time wound down with the tech company I was working for, I felt like my boxing affiliation would wind down as well. Obviously, it did not, and Mike Woods is the biggest reason for that.

I decided to share my experience working with Star Boxing and thanks to another tremendous writer, in  Thomas Hauser, I was able to parlay my success into and article for “The Ring.” Ring accepted my proposal, and I wrote my heart out. Only problem, it was taking a long time to publish and there were times that I was about to give up.

I reached out to Mike Woods for advice, and he helped take some of the edges off the writing and gave me solid feedback. The article was published.

We stayed in touch, and he offered me a shot at writing for NY Fights, something I took very seriously.

The rest as they say is history, nearly three years later and 17 articles, which will be 18, if this makes it, 19 if I finish my Montauk story in the next two days.

The best compliment I can pay any editor, is that I could always count on Woodsy’ s undeniable ability to help make my writing better. He helped me be crisper and more concise.

He helped me develop a deeper perspective and see stories where I may have not seen them. I have always respected the sport and understood the tremendous sacrifice and sometimes the unbearable toll it takes on its’ participants. Woodsy helped me hone that even further and look even deeper.

It was that process that helped me develop the format for my own podcast, “Life’s Tough, Boxers are Tougher.” It was not going to be a show about boxing, it was going to be a show about the human struggle and boxers and the people of this sport would be the focus of. I ran the idea by Lou DiBella, and he expressed his approval of the idea. We have two seasons and are planning a third.

While I am proud of what we have done in the podcast space, the written word has always been something that identify with. NY Fights became a home to me and any proceeds I have made from writing has been donated to a charity that Tony Palmieri of Overtime Boxing and me are the caretakers of called, “Long Island Boxing Charities.”

While I certainly do not speak for any of the other writers, it is my solemn honor to share amongst all of us there is a sense of mourning and a sense of humble and grateful pride that we got to be part of this. My sincere hope is that over these hours til he exits this stage, Michael Woods gets his “Rudy Moment.” Where he understands that while this was never going to be lucrative or glamorous, it was an enriching and a meaningful experience. Not just for us, but for the people we covered, I think. Thank You Woodsy! See ya around!

EDITOR NOTE: Thank YOU and yes, totally.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.