‘It’s not your night’. Why did Jake LaMotta have to lose to Billy Fox in ’47?

Article first appeared on Gambling.com

June 14th 1960. A warm summer’s day in Washington DC. The air is sweet with the city grind and the hustle of a country racing toward adolescence and the associated rebellion.  Chatter spills from sidewalks, shoes are shined, a soft percussion to the chaotic jazz horn of taxicabs and the clatter of the capital’s iconic street cars. Morning sunshine glints from a mile of Buick chrome. 

This commercial idyll, stretching out beneath the blue sky of the star spangled dream belies the political tension that pulses under the skin of black and white America. It is a time of ideology too, the battle for civil rights, of JFK, Cuba, missiles and crusaders for truth and equality. 

Former Middleweight champion Jake LaMotta is in the capital. A face from the smoke and shadows of the monochrome America of the 1950s. One uncomfortable with technicolour progress and the dawn of an age more recognisable to us today.

Continue reading “‘It’s not your night’. Why did Jake LaMotta have to lose to Billy Fox in ’47?”

Spoiling for a fight: The Arv Mittoo story

Article first appeared in Boxing News (£) 30th May 2019

There are no easy lives in the boxing business. Even among those changed for the better, the ones saved, the ones directed away from the darkness, from the cells, from the ground. Every professional fighter complicit to boxing’s unspoken truth; that something of themselves must be sacrificed, perhaps only temporarily, perhaps permanently, in order to access the financial and emotional benefits derived from success, however modest or fleeting they may be.

This grittier reality swiftly overwrites those cinematic show reels, composed in the imaginings of their adolescence, that novice professionals may still cling to when they enter the paid ranks. The dream is nevertheless important, prizefighters are not enticed to lace up the gloves as willowy ten-year-olds, or encouraged to punish and curate their bodies into adulthood, with the expectation of losing or moreover, choosing to, being paid to.

But losing is half of the boxing story. Continue reading “Spoiling for a fight: The Arv Mittoo story”

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