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Paulie Malignaggi: It’s Over

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It began in Brooklyn and it ended in Brooklyn.

Fourteen years ago, on a perfect summer night, a young man named Paulie Malignaggi made his professional boxing debut at Coney Island’s KeySpan Park with a first-round knockout of Thadeus Parker. Like all young fighters, Malignaggi harbored dreams of glory. Some of those dreams came true; others didn’t. On August 1 at Barclays Center (an arena that didn’t exist when Paulie turned pro), those dreams came to an end.

Malignaggi fought the odds throughout his career and had championship runs at 140 and 147 pounds. Unlike most “name” fighters today, he really would fight anyone. His final ring record – at least, one hopes it’s final – shows 33 wins and 7 losses. His biggest fights (against Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia) ended in defeat. But pivotal victories over Zab Judah, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Juan Diaz, and Lovemore N’dou brightened the mix.

Through it all, Paulie spoke his mind and did it his way. “I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t dip his toe into the pool,” he says. “I’ll jump in to see if it’s cold.”

Part of his appeal was that he wore his emotions on his sleeve. In and out of the ring, he appeared vulnerable.

“When you win in front of millions of people,” Paulie noted, “it’s an incredible high. And when you lose in front of millions of people, it hurts. But in the end, it’s not about the number of people watching. It’s about youself. I cried after every loss I had as an amateur. And I cried after I lost to Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton. Then I stopped crying after losses, but they still hurt.”

As Paulie aged, the term “elder statesman” didn’t quite fit. Rafe Bartholomew put his finger on one of the reasons why when he wrote, “Malignaggi’s hairstyles have run a gamut unlike any other in a sport where hideous coiffures are common. We’ve seen Malignaggi go from Pauly D blowout to spiked frosted tips to a peach-fuzz baldie decorated with constellations of shaved-in swirls. The undisputed high point of Malignaggi’s follicular odyssey came when he fought Lovemore Ndou with a head full of braided extensions that made him look like the Italian-American love child of Milli Vanilli and Medusa. When he entered the ring with simple cornrows or a red-tinged faux-hawk, it was interpreted as a sign of mature veteran stature.”

But Paulie kept on being Paulie.

“The media doesn’t know crap about boxing,” he told veteran writer Ron Borges. “There are a few exceptions. But they watch every week and don’t know what they’re doing. If I spent that much time watching something and wrote and said what they do I’d feel very ignorant. I’d feel stupid.”

By that time, Paulie had joined the media as a commentator for Showtime Boxing and was carving out a niche for himself as one of the best in the business.

On April 19, 2014, Malignaggi suffered what many people, including himself, thought was a career-ending fourth-round knockout loss at the hands of Shawn Porter.

“I was hurt pretty bad,” Paulie acknowledges. “Porter went off like a grenade. I went from the ropes to the canvas to the hospital. I’d never been hurt like that before.”

Thereafter, David Greisman wrote, “Paulie woke up every morning with nausea. It seemed as if he needed to shake cobwebs out of his head before his day could begin. Even then, there would be bad headaches that came unexpectedly. He would sit ringside during broadcasts, see a heated exchange between fighters, and think, ‘I’m glad I’m not there.’”

“I never said officially that I was retiring,” Paulie noted earlier this year. “But I told the people I was close to that I thought I was done.”

Then, to the dismay of family and friends, Malignaggi announced that he was fighting again; a tune-up fight against untested Danny O’Connor. In a series of interviews, Paulie explained his thinking:

* “At first, I didn’t want to fight again. I would see these fights from close range [as a commentator], see the violence, some crazy exchanges. ‘Man, better these guys than me. I’m done.’ Then little by little, as I started feeling better, I would focus on the crowd reaction, the adrenaline these fighters are feeling. I was starting to slowly change my thinking. It was starting to slowly become more like, ‘I got to feel this again; I got to feel that rush again. It’s something missing in my life. If you’re not living a certain way, you’re basically dead anyway.”

* “I’d love to win another world title. One more world title would be nice. Sometimes, I think about it and I say ‘one more year.’ And then I think about, if at the end of the year I’m on the verge of getting a big fight, I’m not going to stop. You don’t know when for sure.”

And the ultimate excuse:

* “Before the Porter fight, I hadn’t looked bad. I had one bad night.”

Malignaggi-O’Connor was cancelled when Paulie suffered a cut in training. Then Paulie was offered and accepted an August 1 fight against a far more formidable opponent: Danny Garcia.

“Everybody has asked me, ‘Why would you do this?’ Malignaggi told Tom Gerbasi. “’It’s not like you need money. It’s not like you’re starving.’ But in life, there are other things that make you feel fulfilled besides money. Money’s good; trust me. But you can’t buy happiness and you can’t buy that sense of fulfillment. You fight to be on this grand stage. You do all the hard work through the years. You fight in these little club shows early in your career. You’re fighting in gymnasiums as an amateur. And you do it all so you can be on these huge stages one day. That’s what you dream of. And the bigger the stage, the bigger the rush.”

“That elite level,” Paulie told The Players Tribune. “When you get declared the winner at the end, it’s God-like. It’s hard to describe. It hooks you. It’s addicting, knowing that only a small percentage of people in this world will ever get to feel that kind of adrenaline, and you’re one of them. You crave it. It’s like a drug.”

“A boxer knows it’s time to hang ‘em up when he fears getting hurt in the ring more than he fears losing,” Paulie continued. “If you’re afraid of getting hurt, you have no place in between those ropes. If you’re afraid to fail and you’re afraid to lose and you’ll lay your body on the line and do everything humanly possible to beat the man in front of you, you still got it.”

But that’s nonsense. Judged by that standard, Muhammad Ali didn’t fight too long. Ali always had the will to win. Brain damage shows up over time.

In the days leading up to Garcia-Malignaggi, Danny was a 6-to-1 betting favorite. Fighting mostly at 140 pounds, he’d fashioned a 30-and-0 (17 KOs) record highlighted by a fourth-round knockout of Amir Khan and decisions over Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson.

Paulie hadn’t fought in almost sixteen months and had won one fight since a disputed split-decision triumph over Pablo Cesar Cano in 2012. His reflexes had slowed. His legs were no longer what they once were. The fresh young face and optimism of youth were gone.

“I know people are saying this is my last fight, that I’m just taking a payday,” Paulie noted during a media conference call. “But you know what? You can’t take people’s opinions in the ring with you. I keep reading, ‘This is Paulie’s swan song. It’s his last fight.’ We’ll see.”

“I don’t know how many more great performances I have left in me,” Paulie added at the final pre-fight press conference. “I know I’ll have one on Saturday night. I’ve put my body and mind through so much for this fight. I’ve been so focussed. I’m so sharp. People say I don’t hit hard, but I hit hard enough to break Danny’s nose. And if I break Danny’s nose, he has a problem. On Saturday night, you’ll see the best Paulie Malignaggi that I can be.”

And there was a special motivating factor for Malignaggi.

“So much hinges on Saturday night,” Paulie confessed. “A win could put me in the conversation for the Hall of Fame. I made a list of goals that I wanted to achieve when I started boxing, and I’ve been checking things off ever since. National amateur champion. Yes. Olympian. No. World champion. Yes. Financial security. Yes. Hall of Fame. That was my biggest longterm goal. If I win on Saturday night, that hope stays alive.”

Boxing at the world-class level is a game of centiseconds and fractions of an inch. On fight night, those numbers favored Garcia.

Danny was the aggressor throughout. One arguably could have given rounds two, five, and seven to Malignaggi. There were times when he was able to frustrate Garcia and neutralize Danny’s attack with movement, jabs, and a handful of body shots. But for the most part, Garcia was in charge. And when Paulie made him miss, he didn’t make him pay.

Malignaggi was cut above the right eye in round three and beneath it in round six, a round in which he tired noticeably. By round eight, Garcia was landing right hands to the body and hooks up top with abandon. The assault continued in round nine with Paulie fighting simply to survive. Two minutes and 22 seconds into the stanza, referee Arthur Mercante appropriately stopped the bout.

After the fight, Paulie sat on a chair in his dressing room with his head bowed. There was a large discolored lump on the right side of his forehead. Blood seeped from an ugly gash beneath his right eye and there was a second cut above it. The left side of his body looked like raw beef.

Dr. Avery Browne of the New York State Athletic Commission came into the room for a post-fight physical.

“How do you feel?”

“I’ve been better,” Paulie said. “But I’m all right.”

“Do you have a headache?”

“Yeah. But it’s not as bad as after the last fight.”

Dr. Browne administered the normal post-fight tests with a few extra questions for good measure.

“Who’s the president?”

“Come on,” Paulie answered. “Obama. Do you want me to say Batman?”

“You’ll need stitches,” Dr. Browne told him.

“I’m getting used to it.”

“I’m giving you a forty-five-day suspension.”

“How about forty-five years?” Paulie suggested.

The doctor left.

A period of silence followed. It wasn’t just that Paulie had lost the fight. By any rational standard, his career as a fighter was over.

Tom Hoover (the newly-installed chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission) entered to check on Paulie’s condition.

“It was a good stoppage,” Paulie told him. “The doctors were great. Thank you.”

Dr. Tony Perkins (a plastic surgeon in private practice) was the next arrival.

Paulie lay down on a vanity table that ran the length of the dressing room beneath a mirrored wall.

Dr. Perkins began to work. While the stitching was in progress, Al Haymon came in and walked over to Paulie.

“I don’t have it any more,” Paulie said.

Haymon leaned over and whispered words of assurance in Paulie’s ear.

“You’re okay. You’re in the family.”

An hour earlier, Haymon had visited Sergio Mora’s dressing room and spoken the same words to Mora, who’d been unable to continue after breaking his ankle in the second round of a fight against Danny Jacobs.

Haymon left.

Dr. Perkins finished his work. Five stitches above Paulie’s right eye and ten stitches beneath it.

Paulie looked at the people gathered around him. His brother, Umberto; longtime friend and business advisor, Anthony Catanzaro; Pete Sferazza, another friend; Bobby Ermankhah, CEO of Azad, which markets a Magic-Man watch.

“My jab wasn’t working the way I wanted it to,” Paulie said. “There were moments when it seemed like I was taking control, and then Danny took it back . . . I’m not as fast as I used to be. And my legs aren’t as good. I adjusted my style the last few years to compensate, but it wasn’t enough tonight . . . I can still beat a lot of guys, but I want to be more than the pesky crafty guy who comes up short in big fights . . . I’m not an elite fighter anymore.”

“Do you want to do the blood now?” a USADA collection agent asked.

“Yeah. Let’s get it out of the way.”

A year ago, there was a moment that spoke volumes about Paulie Malignaggi’s psyche. On May 31, 2014, Carl Froch scored a dramatic one-punch knockout of George Groves in front of 80,000 roaring fans at Wembly Stadium in London.

“Right now,” Paulie told a television audience that was listening to his commentary, “I wish I was Carl Froch.”

Paulie never had his Carl Froch moment. But he has been to the mountaintop.

Several months ago, reflecting back on his championship victories and also his fights against Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and others, Paulie told David Greisman, “When my career is over, years from now, whether I’ve won or lost these big fights, at least I’ll be able to say I was in the ring with those guys. When people talk about great fighters, I got to share a night with those guys in front of a big crowd, and it was really cool. Whether I won the fight or lost the fight, I had some cool experiences.”

Paulie is a smart guy. Fighting again would be stupid.

Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at thauser@rcn.com. His most recent book – Thomas Hauser on Boxing – was published by the University of Arkansas Press.

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Thomas Hauser is the author of 52 books. In 2005, he was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America, which bestowed the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism upon him. He was the first Internet writer ever to receive that award. In 2019, Hauser was chosen for boxing's highest honor: induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Lennox Lewis has observed, “A hundred years from now, if people want to learn about boxing in this era, they’ll read Thomas Hauser.”

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In a Massive Upset, Dakota Linger TKOs Kurt Scoby on a Friday Night in Atlanta

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Although it was an 8-rounder on a show with two “tens,” Kurt Scoby’s match with Dakota Linger was accorded main event status on tonight’s card at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta. This had everything to do with Scoby (pronounced Scooby), a former record-setting college running back who was considered one of the brightest prospects in the 140-pound weight class. “[Scoby] works harder than almost anyone I’ve ever seen,” said veteran New York promoter Lou DIBella in a conversation with Keith Idec. “But he’s literally getting better after every fight and he’s got the hammer of Thor, man. He can punch through walls.”

The Duarte, California product who has relocated to Brooklyn and trains at Gleason’s Gym, was undefeated (13-0) heading in and was expected to make Linger his ninth straight knockout victim. But Linger, a 29-year-old Buckhannon, West Virginia policemen whose first ring engagements were in Toughman competitions, wasn’t intimidated by Scoby’s press clippings or by Scoby’s bodybuilder physique.

Linger, who improved to 14-6-3 with his tenth win inside the distance, took the fight right to Scoby and repeatedly found a home for his overhand right. In the sixth round, after Linger strafed the ever-retreating Scoby with a barrage of punches, referee Malik Walid determined that he had seen enough and waived it off. The decision seemed a tad premature, but neither Scoby nor his cornermen offered anything in the way of a protest.

Tournament results

In the first installment of an 8-man super welterweight tournament, Brandon Adams returned to boxing after his second three-year layoff and showed no ring rust whatsoever. Adams, a 34-year-old family-man who grew up in the Watts district of LA, dismissed Ismael Villareal with a wicked punch to the liver in the waning seconds of round three. The official time was 2:59.

A former wold title challenger, Adams who improved to 23-3 (16 KOs), has become the king of boxing tournaments. He first attracted notice in 2018 when he won the fifth edition of “The Contender” series, scoring a wide 10-round decision over Shane Mosley Jr in the championship round.

Villareal, a second-generation prizefighter from the Bronx whose dad fought the likes of Hector Camacho, declined to 13-3.

Adams next opponent will be Francisco Veron who will bring a record of 14-0-1 (10).

In an energetic 10-rounder, Veron, a Florida-based Argentine with a strong amateur pedigree, scored a unanimous decision over Mexico-born, LA southpaw Angel Ruiz (18-3-1). The judges had it 100-90, 99-91, and 96-94.

Ruiz certainly had his moments, but Veron launched and landed many more punches despite fighting the last six rounds with a damaged eye.

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Avila Perspective, Chap. 281: The Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia Show

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Over the years bouts between old foes such as Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia tend to be surprising.

Yes, both are only 25 but have known each other for many years.

When undisputed super lightweight champion Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) steps into the prize ring at Barclays Center to meet challenger Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) on Saturday, April 20, fans will be witnessing the continuation of a feud that began more than a decade ago.

And though the champion is a heavy favorite, familiarity is Garcia’s best weapon heading into their fight on the Golden Boy Promotions card that will be shown on PPV.COM with Jim Lampley and friends. DAZN pay-per-view is also streaming the card.

In many ways Haney and Garcia have ventured down the same path. From amateur sensations to fighting in Mexico while teens to asking for the biggest challenges available.

“Whichever version of Ryan shows up on April 20, I will be ready for him. Ryan Garcia is just another opponent to me,” said Haney who holds the WBC super lightweight title after his win over Regis Prograis.

The first time I saw Haney as a pro he battled the dangerous Mexican contender Juan Carlos Burgos at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula. It was an impressive performance against a fighter who fought three times for a world title.

Haney was 19 at the time.

My first look at Garcia as a pro was in his first bout in the U.S. when he met Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Cruz at the Exchange in downtown Los Angeles. The Boricua looked at Garcia and tried intimidating him with stares, taunts and the usual patter. During the fight both swung and missed until the second round when Garcia zeroed in and took him out.

Garcia had just turned 18, the legal age to fight in California.

Both fighters did not have the Olympics credentials that lead to fame. But their talent has allowed them to fight through the dense smoke that is professional boxing.

Haney has defeated numerous world champions such as Prograis, Vasyl Lomachenko and George Kambosos Jr., while Garcia has stopped champions Javier Fortuna and Luke Campbell.

As amateurs, Garcia and Haney battled six times with each winning three.

“They know each other very well,” said Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions. “Ryan is going to beat Devin Haney.”

Haney has a buttery-smooth style with one of the best jabs in boxing. He’s very adept at keeping distance and not allowing anyone to fight him inside. His reflexes are outstanding, yet he seldom fights inside. That’s his weakness.

Garcia fights tall and has superb hand speed and a lightning quick left hook. Though his defense lacks tightness his ability to rip off three-punch combinations in a blink of an eye pauses opponents from bullying their way inside.

“These guys always just look at me and look at me like I don’t know how to box,” said Garcia on social media. “Why was I one of the best fighters in the amateurs. Why was I a 15-time National champion…why did I beat everyone I came across.”

Haney is a strong favorite by oddsmakers to defeat Garcia. But you can never tell when it comes to fighters that know each other well and are athletically gifted.

When Sergio Mora challenged Vernon Forrest he was a big underdog. When Tim Bradley fought Manny Pacquiao the first time, he was also the underdog. And when Andy Ruiz met Anthony Joshua few gave him a chance.

Haney and Garcia have history in the ring. It should be an interesting battle.

PPV.COM

Jim Lampley will be leading the broadcast on PPV.COM for the Haney-Garcia card at Barclays and texting with fans on the card live. He will be accompanied by journalists Lance Pugmire, Dan Conobbio and former champion Chris Algieri.

The PPV.COM broadcast begins at 5 p.m. PT. and is available in Canada and the USA.

Other News

MMA stars Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal will be holding a media day event on Friday, April 19, at NOVO at L.A. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Diaz and Masvidal will be boxing against each other in a grudge match on June 1 at the KIA Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The two MMA stars met five years at UFC 244 with Masvidal winning by TKO over Diaz due to cuts.

This is a grudge match, but under boxing rules.

Fight card in Commerce, Calif.

360 Promotions returns to Commerce Casino on Saturday April 20 with undefeated super lightweight Cain Sandoval leading the charge.

Sandoval (12-0) faces Angel Rebollar (8-3) in the main event that will be shown live on UFC Fight Pass. Also on the card are two female events including hot prospect Lupe Medina (5-0) versus Sabrina Persona (3-1) in a minimumweight clash.

Doors open at 4 p.m.

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Boxing Odds and Ends: The Heavyweight Merry-Go-Round

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Boxing Odds and Ends: The Heavyweight Merry-Go-Round

There were few surprises when co-promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren and their benefactor HE Turki Alalshikh held a press conference in London this past Monday to unveil the undercard for the Beterbiev-Bivol show at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 1. Most of the match-ups had already been leaked.

For die-hard boxing fans, Beterbiev-Bivol is such an enticing fight that it really doesn’t need an attractive undercard. Two undefeated light heavyweights will meet with all four relevant belts on the line in a contest where the oddsmakers straddled the fence. It’s a genuine “pick-‘em” fight based on the only barometer that matters, the prevailing odds.

But Beterbiev-Bivol has been noosed to a splendid undercard, a striking contrast to Saturday’s Haney-Garcia $69.99 (U.S.) pay-per-view in Brooklyn, an event where the undercard, in the words of pseudonymous boxing writer Chris Williams, is an absolute dumpster fire.

The two heavyweight fights that will bleed into Beterbiev-Bivol, Hrgovic vs. Dubois and Wilder vs. Zhang, would have been stand-alone main events before the incursion of Saudi money.

Hrgovic-Dubois

Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 13 KOs) and Daniel Dubois (20-2, 19 KOs) fought on the same card in Riyadh this past December. Hrgovic, the Croatian, was fed a softie in the form of Australia’s Mark De Mori who he dismissed in the opening round. Dubois, a Londoner, rebounded from his loss to Oleksandr Usyk with a 10th-round stoppage of corpulent Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.

There’s an outside chance that Hrgovic vs. Dubois may be sanctioned by the IBF for the world heavyweight title.

The May 18 showdown between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury has a rematch clause. The IBF is next in line in the rotation system for a unified heavyweight champion and the organization has made it plain that the winner of Usyk-Fury must fulfill his IBF mandatory before an intervening bout.

The best guess is that the Usyk-Fury winner will relinquish the IBF belt. If so, Hrgovic and Dubois may fight for the vacant title although a more likely scenario is that the organization will keep the title vacant so that the winner can fight Anthony Joshua.

Wilder-Zhang

The match between Deontay Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) and Zhilei Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KOs) is a true crossroads fight as both Wilder, 38, and Zhang, who turns 41 in May, are nearing the end of the road and the loser (unless it’s a close and entertaining fight) will be relegated to the rank of a has-been. In fact, Wilder has hinted that this may be his final rodeo.

Both are coming off a loss to Joseph Parker.

Wilder last fought on the card that included Hrgovic and Dubois and was roundly out-pointed by a man he was expected to beat. It’s a quick turnaround for Zhang who opposed Parker on March 8 and lost a majority decision.

Other Fights

Either of two other fights may steal the show on the June 1 event.

Raymond Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) meets Nick Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs) in a 12-round featherweight contest. New Jersey’s Ford will be defending the WBA world title he won with a come-from-behind, 12th-round stoppage of Otabek Kholmatov in an early contender for Fight of the Year. Liverpool’s “Wrecking” Ball, a relentless five-foot-two sparkplug, had to settle for a draw in his title fight with Rey Vargas despite winning the late rounds and scoring two knockdowns.

Hamzah Sheeraz (19-0, 15 KOs) meets fellow unbeaten Austin “Ammo” Williams (16-0, 11 KOs) in a 12-round middleweight match. East London’s Sheeraz, the son of a former professional cricket player, is unknown in the U.S. although he trained for his recent fights at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in California. Riding a skein of 13 straight knockouts, he has a date with WBO title-holder Janibek Alimkhanuly if he can get over this hurdle.

The Forgotten Heavyweight

“Unbeaten for seven years, the man nobody wants to fight,” intoned ring announcer Michael Buffer by way of introduction. Buffer was referencing Michael Hunter who stood across the ring from his opponent Artem Suslenkov.

This scene played out this past Saturday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was Hunter’s second fight in three weeks. On March 23, he scored a fifth-round stoppage of a 46-year-old meatball at a show in Zapopan, Mexico.

The second-generation “Bounty Hunter,” whose only defeat prior to last weekend came in a 12-rounder with Oleksandr Usyk, has been spinning his wheels since TKOing the otherwise undefeated Martin Bakole on the road in London in 2018. Two fights against hapless opponents on low-budget cards in Mexico and a couple of one-round bouts for the Las Vegas Hustle, an entry in the fledgling and largely invisible Professional Combat League, are the sum total of his activity, aside from sparring, in the last two-and-a-half years.

Hunter’s chances of getting another big-money fight took a tumble in Tashkent where he lost a unanimous decision in a dull affair to the unexceptional Suslenkov who was appearing in his first 10-round fight. The scores of the judges were not announced.

You won’t find this fight listed on boxrec. As Jake Donovan notes, the popular website will not recognize a fight conducted under the auspices of a rogue commission. (Another fight you won’t find on boxrec for the same reason is Nico Ali Walsh’s 6-round split decision over the 9-2-1 Frenchman, Noel Lafargue, in the African nation of Guinea on Dec. 16, 2023. You can find it on YouTube, but according to boxrec, boxing’s official record-keeper, it never happened.)

Anderson-Merhy Redux

The only thing missing from this past Saturday’s match in Corpus Christi, Texas, between Jared Anderson and Ryad Merhy was the ghost of Robert Valsberg.

Valsberg, aka Roger Vaisburg, was the French referee who disqualified Ingemar Johansson for not trying in his match with LA’s Ed Sanders in the finals of the heavyweight competition at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Valsberg tossed Johansson out of the ring after two rounds and Johansson was denied the silver medal. The Swede redeemed himself after turning pro, needless to say, when he demolished Floyd Patterson in the first of their three meetings.

Merhy was credited with throwing only 144 punches, landing 34, over the course of the 10 rounds. Those dismal figures yet struck many onlookers as too high. (This reporter has always insisted that the widely-quoted CompuBox numbers should be considered approximations.)

Whatever the true number, it was a disgraceful performance by Merhy who actually showed himself to have very fast hands on the few occasions when he did throw a punch. With apologies to Delfine Persoon, a spunky lightweight, U.S. boxing promoters should think twice before inviting another Belgian boxer to our shores.

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