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Boxing Again Becomes a Safe Place

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  • Boxing Again Becomes a Safe Place

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    By Ted Sares

    Last year there were a number of things that caused fans to keep boxing in proper perspective. Among them, racism and the divisiveness of Charlottesville, the Mexican earthquake, Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico that caused in excess of 1,400 deaths, the escalating exchange of insults between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

    I wrote about it and said in closing, “When immersed in boxing, my own feelings of uncertainty and fear are probably not as great as they should be and that might have something to do with my advanced age. Yet it’s difficult to misperceive a dangerous series of events, some predicated on nature, others predicated on the folly of man. Some cannot be prevented; others can.”

    Such a series of dangerous events appears to continue into 2018.

    Boxing in 2018

    Notwithstanding the continual onslaught of negativity and inanity in the news, boxing remains a pleasure from which most fans have absolutely no guilt, nor should they. After all, it is our thing; our special passion.

    Thus far, boxing has enjoyed a great year with plenty of “Best vs. Best” action (Garcia vs. Easter, Whyte vs. Parker, Adonis Stevenson vs Badou Jack and Hurd vs. Lara to name four). Wilder vs Ortiz was big drama. Lomachenko vs Linares was equally dramatic. Of course, the rematch of Canelo Alverez vs. Gennady Golovkin in September will be something special for fans.

    Manny Pacquiao sans Freddie Roach waxed the “The Machine” in Malaysia and that has everyone excited and guessing as to whom his next opponent will be. Wilder and Fury are talking the talk but whether they walk it remains to be seen as Anthony Joshua lurks. Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, Mikey Garcia, and Loma are this era’s Hearns, Leonard, Hagler and Duran and that keeps boxing alive, if not vibrant. Kovelev’s shocking downfall opens up new and exciting opportunities for great matches and Whyte’s close win over Parker keeps the mix in the heavyweights interesting as Usyk now looms—maybe as the next Evander Holyfield. The destructive Regis Prograis has New Orleans in his blood, evoking memories of Willie Pastrano. The charismatic Billy Joe Saunders, Irishman Carl Frampton and Thai warrior Srisaket Sor Rungvisai are sure bets to thrill and chill during the year, while Pinoy Donnie Nietes continues to win and break records.

    Female boxing is beginning to gain traction and Layla McCarter and Cecelia Braekhus seem destined to square off as Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor hit the professional road running.

    Events in 2018

    But like last year, a series of dangerous events appears to have continued into 2018. In fact, there has been no letup in external (non-boxing) events –some strange, some terrifying, and some surreal—the impact of which should hopefully help us keep things in reasonable perspective or, as the saying goes, keeping things “real.”

    Despicable public servants scam the system, embezzle, and/or stash money in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share. Public servants and aides use public funds for personal pleasure. Political scandal after political scandal and stunning White House resignations that make a subway turnstile look slow. This stuff now has become mind numbing but some call it “fake news.” Troubles with our former allies seem to increase, rather than abate. “O’ Canada.”

    Names like Flynn, Papadopoulos, Manafort, Gates, Cohen and now New York Congressman Chris Collins dot the news on a daily basis. “Alleged” is the operative word. A cruel “zero-tolerance” immigration policy is implemented and then quickly retracted amidst public outrage. Tariffs confuse, tax reform adds billions to the deficit in plain sight. Facebook breached the trust. The Mueller probe goes on and on and on. Russian interference; collusion; conspiracy; sanctions; poisonings. Enough!!!

    The opioid epidemic metastasizes. It’s far worse than most suspect; it’s horrible. The Parkland School Shooting in February sparked major protests. Monster wildfires in California rage and destroy (and one in Greece trapped and killed over 90 people just a short distance from reaching safety). Global heat waves abound and with them more wild fires, “lava bombs” in Hawaii create a new danger and an Indonesia earthquake killed hundreds. Climate control is now a myth.

    The “#MeToo” movement has claimed an endless list of misbehaviors. From verbal harassment and lascivious comments to grope, to rape, and everything in between. It’s now about zero tolerance. Thankfully, boxing has avoided it…..thus far.

    Yet despite the aforementioned bouillabaisse of non-stop shock and awe and tweet-driven madness, boxing keeps things real in a different way because it remains open and transparent (even the politics and chicanery are open). It’s a love and hate outlet that contains few hidden agendas; no lengthy probes; few scandals; positively no guilt; lots of pleasure--it is what it is and that’s why it’s our safe place.

    Ted Sares is one of the oldest active full power lifters in the world and is currently competing on the New England circuit. A member of Ring 10, and Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame, he was recently cited by Hannibal Boxing as one of three “Must-Read” boxing writers.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    I like to escape reality and devote some time to boxing and baseball. Life can be a real ***** especially if one follows the various cable news channels.Believe it or not, I watched a replay of Nunn / Tate today. I was at the fight some 30-years ago.

    You compared some current fighter to Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, and Duran. In my humble opinion, there is no comparison. Like the heavyweights of the late 60s / early 70s, that was the best of the best. I absolutely loved those guys!

    I enjoyed the read, Ted -- thanks! FYI: I'm about 10 miles south of Ventura, Cali where the upper Los Padres Nat'l forest was devastated by fire.

    Comment


    • #3
      Those fires are horrible. I worry about my daughter.

      I totally agree with you on the comparisons. No real comparison. Those guys were ATG'S.

      Nunn was a superb fighter.

      Comment


      • JohnnyTango
        JohnnyTango commented
        Editing a comment
        Nunn was one hell of a boxer!

    • #4
      Re: From Wikipedia on Michael Nunn:

      On August 6, 2002, at a hotel in his hometown of Davenport, Iowa, Nunn was arrested after paying an undercover agent $200 for one kilogram of cocaine, which had a street value of $24,000. In May 2003, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The following January, Nunn was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge William Gritzer, who agreed to a higher sentencing guideline after considering Nunn's long history of drug trafficking and the likelihood that he used a firearm during drug deals.

      During the three-day sentencing hearing, prosecutors called witnesses who testified about Nunn's drug activity dating back to 1993. Nunn, who accepted responsibility for buying drugs in August 2002, denied his involvement in drug trafficking. He pointed out that several of the witnesses were in prison and could have their sentences reduced for providing testimony.

      Nunn, who was defiant throughout the hearing, accused government lawyers of lying and scheming against him. "You guys haven't shown me nothing," Nunn said in his statement to the judge. "Where are your facts, Mr. Prosecutor?"

      Nunn is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution, Oxford, a medium-security federal prison in Wisconsin, and is scheduled for release in 2019. This information was verified on the Federal inmate locator online in May 2017, indicating Nunn has received credit time off his sentence for good behavior.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by JohnnyTango View Post
        Re: From Wikipedia on Michael Nunn:

        On August 6, 2002, at a hotel in his hometown of Davenport, Iowa, Nunn was arrested after paying an undercover agent $200 for one kilogram of cocaine, which had a street value of $24,000. In May 2003, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The following January, Nunn was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge William Gritzer, who agreed to a higher sentencing guideline after considering Nunn's long history of drug trafficking and the likelihood that he used a firearm during drug deals.

        During the three-day sentencing hearing, prosecutors called witnesses who testified about Nunn's drug activity dating back to 1993. Nunn, who accepted responsibility for buying drugs in August 2002, denied his involvement in drug trafficking. He pointed out that several of the witnesses were in prison and could have their sentences reduced for providing testimony.

        Nunn, who was defiant throughout the hearing, accused government lawyers of lying and scheming against him. "You guys haven't shown me nothing," Nunn said in his statement to the judge. "Where are your facts, Mr. Prosecutor?"

        Nunn is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution, Oxford, a medium-security federal prison in Wisconsin, and is scheduled for release in 2019. This information was verified on the Federal inmate locator online in May 2017, indicating Nunn has received credit time off his sentence for good behavior.
        The entire deal reportedly was used to make an example out of Nunn. How tragic. To this day, I believe he was set up.

        Comment


        • JohnnyTango
          JohnnyTango commented
          Editing a comment
          The feds did something like that to John DeLorean.

      • #6
        One other thing. I probably should have mentioned something about Jack Johnson's pardon which unfortunately got politicized.

        Comment


        • #7
          By people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, yes.

          Comment


          • #8

            Comment


            • #9
              Had O done the deed, leftists would still be preening about it.

              Comment


              • Kid Blast
                Kid Blast commented
                Editing a comment
                The important thing is that it got done. Hopefully for all the right reasons.

            • #10
              Because he loves boxing and has the power to affect change?

              Comment


              • #11
                Congratulations, Ted, on placing 1st at the Maine State Championships!

                Comment


                • #12
                  Add to the political nonsense.....a councilman here is Dallas pleaded guilty to many charges of embezzlement totaling $450,000.

                  Comment


                  • Kid Blast
                    Kid Blast commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Politics and boxing DO have something in common. Both lack a moral underbelly.
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