BAM on Boxing
Boxing’s Demon, The Pull-Out Fighter
A decade ago contracts in boxing did not mean as much as they do now. You could locate a fighter the
day of the fight and have him fight that same night. Not only did the commission allow it, but also pre-fight
medical exams were not as intense as they are now, there were more fighters around and they were willing
to fight almost anyone.
Today it is common to plan a fight card for eight bouts and only have six actually occur. For any number of
reasons, fighters drop out. They flunk pre-fight medical testing, get suspended for a variety of reasons, or
come up with lames excuses why they cannot (do not want to) fight.
Look at what happened recently after Harry Joe Yorgey, of Bridgeport, PA, signed a contract to fight Gabriel
Rosado (above: black/gold trunks), of Philadelphia, PA, on July 15 in Atlantic City. Within two weeks of
signing, Yorgey tore tendons in his shoulder and canceled. Allen Conyers, of Brooklyn, NY, stepped in on
five weeks’ notice, then stepped out 72 hours before the match, claiming bruised knuckles. Thankfully, Ayi
Bruce (above: red/gold trunks), of Ghana, who was living in Baltimore, MD, accepted the match on short
notice and gave Rosado a good fight before being stopped in five rounds. In the end, Rosado went through
more opponents for that fight than the average fighter does in five months.
It can be frustrating and stressful for a promoter or matchmaker. You think everything is set to go, then
fighters start dropping like bowling pins the week of the fight and there is little you can do about it. If Ryan
Howard or Jimmy Rollins gets hurt, the Phillies still play that night and everyone has a good time. If a
main-event fighter falls out, though, there is chaos.
As for the fighter, I cannot fathom how he would feel.
It’s the week of the fight. It’s 100 degrees outside and you barely have had anything to eat all week. You
run, sleep, train and drink water. Everybody around you is telling you what you should or should not do. A
couple of days go by and it’s the day of the weigh-in and water is not even an option today.
If there is a time that a fighter is not himself, it’s the week of a fight. A fighter deals with the pressure of
staying focused, training, studying films, not to mention the pressures of everyday life. Having the weight of
the world on your shoulders—literally and figuratively--becomes an understatement.
Can you imagine feeling like that?
Staying focused for a fighter is like making money for a rich man. Without focus, the fighter has nothing.
In the summer when people are going out, clubbing, partying, drinking, staying up late, sitting in the AC,
the fighter has to remember to wake up in the morning to go running, head to the gym in the afternoon and
train in the heat. A fighter has one goal--to succeed and be the best fighter he can be.
A person’s emotions change due to his or her surroundings, actions or inactions, attitude, lifestyle, etc.
So for a fighter, fight week may not be the best time to judge him as the same person his friends and family
Excitement, pressure, hostility, aches and pains, feeling tired—those are just some of the things a fighter
deals with the week of a match. Fight week is full of ups and downs for a fighter, as well as for a promoter
To go through all of this, then get to the weigh-in and learn your opponent has canceled can incredible
turmoil for everyone involved. For the fighter, frustration could not possibly cover it all. Guess what? There
is next-to-nothing that the fighter, his manager, the promoter or matchmaker can do.
- Press Release from Peltz Boxing
- Photo courtesy of Peltz Boxing