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Who Won and Lost the Week, April Showers Edition: Frontline COVID Battlers Snag W

Michael Woods

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Live fights are not happening, not unless you count social media scrums. So, it can be argued that there aren’t enough picks to choose from when doing the Who Won the Week selection for NYFights.

Ah but the world still turns, and people still have choices to make, throughout their day–do the right thing, or eff up. It’s just, the opportunities are different now, and aren’t unfolding inside rings.

This is a time for re-evaluation, because peoples’ routines have been upended. So, my vote for Who Won the Week this time around goes to the frontline medical workers, who most of us, I dare say, have taken for granted too often up til today.  The nurses, doctors, residents, techs, support staff who are doing clean-up in danger zone ICUs, and the EMTs and ambulance drivers and one and all who are suiting up their armor and doing battle day in, day out, and serving selflessly. Bless them, they are reminding us of the best elements of humanity.

All of the doctors, nurses and essential personnel assisting with taking care of us and those in need during this pandemic continue to win the week and weekend for me,” said NYFights’ West Coast bureau chief Abe Gonzalez. “They continually put it on the line for the better of other humans and although it’s part of their job, it doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what they do for us and recognize them for their efforts.

 “I think Devin Haney lost the weekend. Before you start with the hate mail, I have been and continue to be a believer in Haney’s talent to become a star in the sport. I just don’t agree with what he said in that interview and during a time where we are focusing on being a better version of ourselves while we have the time to evaluate, I think the timing was really bad for those comments. Right now, the focus should be damage control and less of these type of tweets. Hopefully, we can move in the more positive direction within the coming weeks.”

You know who wins every day and every weekend? Nurses,” said writer David Phillips. “Out there keeping us alive without the supplies and equipment they need while they are putting themselves at risk. You know who lost? Those clowns out there protesting the right to get everyone else sick. Funny thing is, if the losers get their way, who are they gonna call in when their temperature spikes and their lungs start to close? They are going to call on nurses. Nurses who will treat them despite their own stupidity. Which is fucking massive.”

 Winner: Boxing fans,” said PR ace Gayle Falkenthal. “Top Rank Boxing opened up its video vault for a hella good marathon of classic fights Saturday with something for everyone. Highlights included Ali vs Frazier 1, which hadn’t been shown on television for nearly 30 years..

..the always classic Hagler vs. Hearns; and Oscar De La Hoya’s victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Boy, does the then 23-year-old De La Hoya remind me of his young protege Ryan Garcia, in a good way. You’re forgiven if you just couldn’t watch De La Hoya vs. Tito Trinidad, though. Most people agree Trinidad was robbed. It was also such a joy to hear great broadcasters like Rich Marotta on the call for the De La Hoya fights, now running the show at the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Marotta said he hadn’t listened to himself in years. 

“Loser: Boxing fans. It came as sad news to learn ESPN senior boxing journalist Dan Rafael’s contract wasn’t renewed. Disagree as I might over a Rafael ringside scorecard from time to time, no one has keener insight on boxing history and how it informs today’s boxing landscape than Rafael. Save perhaps YOU, Woodsy. (Told you Gayle is a PR ACE!). Let’s hope Rafael lands another gig soon.”

“Good morning, everyone! Still in lockdown here in Berlin,” said writer Pete Carvill, “and it’s going to be extended until at least May 4. That’s when the older kids start going back to school. Personally, I don’t reckon I’m going to be back to any semblance of normality before August.

Winners this week are the fans, particularly in Europe. For the last couple of weeks, Matchroom Sport, Sky Sports Boxing, Queensberry Boxing, and the World Boxing Super Series have been reposting full 1080-versions of their best fights (recent and historical) on their YouTube pages. There’s also been some great documentaries like Sheffield Steel and Battling to Belong for people to watch.

Losers this week are unfortunately the fans again. Briedis-Dorticos in Latvia was called off again as local authorities extended their lockdown. The lack of live events is surely going to start hurting us at some point this year. Although with UFC 249 similarly being tanked, we’re not in this alone.”

“‘The Stranger’won the weekend,” said fighter/commetator Tommy Rainone. “Binge watched the entire season on Netflix and it was excellent. Terrific finale.”

“Like so many others are saying, the winners are boxing fans,” said boxing writer Jeremy Herriges. “With the absence of current bouts, promotional companies, streaming services, and television channels are dipping into their archives and allowing hardcore boxing fans to relive incredible fights while introducing new fans to the rich history of pugilism. It’s a celebration of boxing that’s receiving a lot of love as many people realize a new appreciation for the sport now that they are separated from it. 

The loser of the week is Devin Haney. His comments regarding race were ignorant and disappointing, to say the least. They say that all publicity is good publicity, but in this scenario, I completely disagree with the adage.” 

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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