UNFORTUNATELY, whenever people lose sight of boxing’s inherent dangers or take it lightly or view it only as entertainment, the sport has a tendency to offer a reminder.
On Saturday (October 12) in Chicago, brave New Yorker Patrick Day was stopped in the 10th and final round of a fight against Charles Conwell and was left with a “traumatic brain injury”. Day, just 27 years old, was removed from the ring on a stretcher and operated on at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He has yet to regain consciousness and is described as being in an “extremely critical condition”.
Conwell, his devastated opponent, tweeted his support to Day, writing: “My thoughts and deepest prayers are with Patrick Day and his family right now. His family will provide further information at the appropriate time. Please keep Pat in your prayers.”
Lou DiBella, meanwhile, Day’s promoter, said: “Pat makes any room he is in a better place. I’ve never met anyone who’s met Patrick and not liked him. Never heard him utter a mean word. Never seen him greet someone without a big smile. Life doesn’t seem fair sometimes.
“Please keep Pat in your prayers, thoughts and hearts.”
On February 2, Day, 17-4-1 (6), went the full 10 rounds against another undefeated fighter, Ismail Iliev, in Frisco, and scored an upset victory. Then, on June 28, he met Carlos Adames, also undefeated, in Temecula, again over 10 rounds, though this time away second best. This latest 10-rounder against Conwell came three and a half months later.
Admittedly, three 10-rounders in eight months wouldn’t have been anything to write home about in years gone by, but it’s a serious schedule in this day and age and Day would have fought every one of those 30 rounds as if it were his last. It was, after all, his style, his nature. It was why he kept getting the calls.
Our thoughts are with Patrick Day and his family at this time.
When overweight and underprepared, Andy Ruiz Jnr was too much for Anthony Joshua to handle at Madison Square Garden, New York on June 1.
He ignored the putdowns and the pro-Joshua predictions to rattle Joshua early, drop him in the third round, and then finish him in the seventh. In doing so, he became the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion of the world.
Six months later he will be asked to do it all over again, this time in Saudi Arabia, and prove it was no fluke. This time, if the new champion is to be believed, he will be half the man he used to be.
“I have a lot of respect for Anthony. Outside the ring he is a very good man,” Ruiz told ESPN Deportes. “But inside (the ring) there are no friends. There is no respect or anything.
“It will not be an easy fight. I think it will be a hard fight. But nothing is easy in life, so we are training very hard. We will be prepared for whatever he brings.
“I will arrive in better condition: lighter, faster and more powerful. They will believe that in December they will win. People will always talk like this, but I have faith that we’re going to win and shut up more mouths.”
On December 7, the dynamic will be different for Andy Ruiz. Different to last time and different to any other fight he has ever had. No longer the fall guy, the one asking to borrow belts for a photo op, there will now be some expectancy and pressure on Ruiz second time around. Whether this suffocates him, or perhaps gives him even more of an incentive, remains to be seen. But so far he appears to be taking it in his stride.