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HITS and MISSES: Post-Thanksgiving Weekend Edition

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  • HITS and MISSES: Post-Thanksgiving Weekend Edition

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    By Kelsey McCarson

    It was another massive weekend in boxing. There were big fights on pay-per-view that maybe shouldn't have been so big, and fights surrounded by lesser fanfare that will probably be looked back at as the more meaningful action by future historians.

    Here are the biggest HITS and MISSES from another week on the boxing beat.

    HIT: Mike Tyson, Roy Jones and the Unifying Power of Boxing

    Whatever you think about the boxing exhibition bout between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, Jr. on Saturday night, the most important aspect of the whole night (to this writer at least) was seeing how easily a big fight in boxing could still unify our culture.

    No, it wasn't a legitimate prizefight, but people still wanted to see the 54-year-old Tyson go a few rounds with the 51-year-old Jones, and that's exactly what they got. It was a ride built mostly around the power of nostalgia, and it featured all sorts of present-day celebrities, too.

    By the end of things, it seemed the general reaction to the event on social media was positive.

    Tyson vs. Jones showed how big a reach boxing still has. Tyson retired over 15 years ago, but people from all over the planet were still willing to pay $50 to watch him climb inside the ropes for a sparring session.

    Seeing that left me with two exciting questions.

    What awesome power will boxing's next superstar have?

    More importantly, where is he (or she) anyway?

    MISS: Ring Announcer's Steve Harvey Moment

    In 2015, comedian Steve Harvey accidentally announced the wrong winner of the Miss Universe pageant. As humiliating as that event was for Harvey, just imagine how the two women felt after having their hearts filled and slashed by his error.

    That same thing sort of happened on Friday night when Danny Jacobs beat Gabriel Rosado via split decision in a 168-pound stay-busy fight streamed by DAZN.

    Ring announcer Jeremiah Gallegos accidentally said the winner hailed from Philadelphia (where Rosado is from) before quickly changing it back to Brooklyn (where Jacobs is from).

    So momentarily, the hard-luck Rosado, who never has been the beneficiary of a close decision in any important fight, thought he had just pulled off the upset of the year.

    Instead, Jacobs was corrected as the winner and that had to be an awful experience for both fighters, one that was completely avoidable.

    HIT: Joe Joyce: An Actual Juggernaut?

    Heavyweight prospect Joe Joyce is a popular fighter on the other side of the ocean because of his long and successful campaign as an amateur boxing star which culminated with Joyce winning the silver medal for Great Britain in the super heavyweight division at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    Still, as a professional prospect, there are lots of things not to like about Joyce. First, Joyce didn't start boxing until he was 22. Late bloomers come around now and then, but they're still a rarity in the sport. Second, Joyce is already 35, which means he's already just outside the confines of his theoretical physical prime, something that ends around 33 years old and only gets worse. Finally, Joyce is just plain slow as molasses.

    Regardless, Joyce stopped fellow Brit Daniel Dubois on Saturday in London.

    Unlike Joyce, Dubois, 23, possesses plenty of attributes one looks for in a future world champion. But none of those things helped Dubois win the fight.

    All this to say Joyce just keeps winning fights. Sure, he might appear to be a boulder tumbling slowly down a hill when he fights, but that rock is starting to gain some real momentum.

    HIT: 54-1

    Thailand's Wanheng Menayothin finally lost a fight over the weekend, but it should be noted that at least the fighter finally knows his limits.

    Menayothin (aka Chayaphon Moonsri) entered his fight against Petchmanee CP Freshmart (aka Panya Pradabsri) with a sterling record of 54-0. He left the contest 54-1 after judges rendered their verdict for the challenger.

    Much was made of Menayothin's glossy win streak last year when he surpassed retired boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather's 50-0 mark. But a combat sports culture obsessed with suffering no blemishes on a record is only a relatively new phenomenon. Moreover, the very nature of that path through the sport never reveals the true limits of a fighter.

    All this to say that Menayothin now gets a better sense of his limits, and the boxing world as a whole gets to know that same thing about him, too. That's wildly better than the alternative.

    MISS: Nate Robinson Challenge

    If you missed the Tyson vs. Jones pay-per-view event on Triller over the weekend, you didn't see social media star Jake Paul's viral knockout of ex-NBA star Nate Robinson.

    It was clear from the start of the fight that Paul and Robinson weren't evenly matched. That kind of thing happens all the time in boxing, of course, but here was a case of a person (Robinson) who maybe had been so mismatched against Paul that it was too dangerous to have happened at all.

    Regardless, Robinson did have the courage to train for the fight and step inside the ropes on fight night.

    After he was knocked out, something called the "Nate Robinson Challenge" started trending on Twitter, and it was basically people from all over the world trolling the 3-time NBA dunking champ for getting knocked out in the fight.

    Look, Robinson made his own bed by calling for the fight in the first place. But the Internet trolls that rag people for stepping outside their comfort zones probably would never dare to attempt that accomplishment themselves.

    Robinson tried and failed. That's the real challenge.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel
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