The NYF staff is busier than ever in this new age of boxing, with content being king and queen and fight fare being there for the assessing in any number of platforms. This weekend was no exception; laptops got workouts, with screens being shared by tangoes in various corners of the globe.
As to who won the weekend, it turns out that our gang was most impressed by a Brooklyn resident who offered us a lesson in perseverence and pride.
“This is absolutely the victory that was Heather Hardy,” said John Gatling, whe asked Who Won the Weekend. “In a weekend that featured several significant names of note, “The Heat” claimed a world title on HBO inside of Madison Square Garden over a bitter rival with style and substance on the biggest stage New York City has to offer. I’m proud of what she achieved for herself, her family and aspiring women around the world by etching her name besides the very best in boxing history, gender non-withstanding.”
And who does David Phillips vote for? “I want to call it a draw between Daniel Jacobs and Heather Hardy, but since I’m going to give Jacobs some extra attention in a separate piece, I’m going with Heather Hardy. In her mid 30s, as a single mother, who has fought with the powers that be just to get insured for matches – a trial that forced her into MMA to keep the lights on – this woman with a truly difficult past, including homelessness and physical abuse, got her first world title. I don’t know how you argue against that.”
“Alberto “Explosivo” Machado won the weekend! After going through his last fight where some say it was a snoozer, Machado showed how explosive he can be with a vicious first round KO of Yuandale Evans,” said Abe Gonzalez, who was on site. “With the pressure of fighting in NYC and his promoter (Miguel Cotto aka boxing royalty) there in attendance, Machado gave the fans a reason to believe that he could possibly fill the void of being “the next” Puerto Rican sensation. I will be looking forward to the showdown with “El Bandido” Vargas, as he called him out after the fight.”
Guest entrant Dr. Johnny Lops, who was at the Theater, concurs: “The winner of the weekend was Machado. He looked so relaxed, comfortable, not at all overwhelmed by the bright lights. He seemed so ready for the big time. The combination of Freddie Roach and Miguel Cotto gave him a mentorship that he trusted and as a consummate professional he showed greta fundamentals even when he had Yuandale Evans hurt. Short fight but gave us a lot of information about is preparation. His combo was so sweet that even in slo mo I almost didn’t see it!”
The Scot, Colin Morrison, told us, “Daniel Jacobs won the weekend for me. He boxed well in his 50/50 matchup with Sergiy Derevyanchenko and was correctly called the winner by two of the three ringside judges. In picking up the vacant IBF middleweight title in the process, Jacobs is now right in the mix for a big money bout next year – either a unification fight with Canelo or a rematch with GGG. “
From Texas, Kelsey McCarson told us, “Heather Hardy won the weekend. Many doors have been closed in Hardy’s face but that hasn’t stopped her from knocking on them because she knows what everyone else seems to forget. Doors don’t just open. Where other people would have been trapped in their own apathy, Hardy saw an opportunity. Her fight was billed locally to help attract fans to the arena for fight night. This happens often when an undercard fighter like Hardy is popular in her home arena but doesn’t seem to do the same on the national level. But Hardy wanted more so she asked for more. Hardy contacted HBO’s Peter Nelson and asked to be put on the TV portion of the card. How many other fighters have had the opportunity to do such a thing but instead just complained on social media or didn’t say anything at all? Hardy asked and so she received. Kudos to Nelson and the HBO crew for giving Hardy the opportunity of a lifetime to fight on HBO, and kudos to her for asking for it and then delivering on the brightest, biggest stage of her career. We can all be Heather Hardy if we are willing to ask for things.”
I’m picking Hardy, for Who Won the Weekend. Six years ago, post Hurricane Sandy, homeless. Saturday, holding a title belt aloft at the Madison Square Garden Theater, doing her thing on HBO after emailing the head of the sports department to ask to be placed on the televised portion of the card. That is a Cinderella story for this era.