WITH A BOXER LYING IN A COMA, TALK OF DODGY JUDGES GRATES
CREDENTIALS for the Tyson Fury fight had to be collected before 6pm on Saturday and by mid-afternoon the word was that the area around the Staples Center was a little chaotic. Best get down in plenty of time, which is how we came to be watching in the subterranean media room as Adonis Stevenson fought Oleksandr Gvozdyk for the WBC light-heavyweight title in Quebec. Actually, watching may be too strong a word for it. The fight was on and some in the room had half an eye on it. That’s how casual the fight game can be. There were even two bouts scheduled after Fury and Deontay Wilder had left the arena on Saturday, played out to a largely empty hall. Yet those fighters were taking the same risk as men whose gift for violence fills 80,000 capacity venues. An unlucky sequence of events, a single blow that has consequence beyond its intention, and we enter the realm of tragedy. So when, later that night, it emerged that the fight we half-studied, that we had absent-mindedly noted the Ukrainian challenger won, had resulted in Stevenson being taken to Quebec’s Hopital de l’Enfant-Jesus, where the specialist neurological unit placed him in an induced coma, it was a sobering reminder. We can argue about the judges, the scoring, the count, but nothing should ever be taken for granted in boxing. If everyone comes home safe, sometimes it’s better to simply say thanks, and move on.