Things for which to be thankful
‘Tis that time of year when many Americans frequently gather with family and friends, overindulge in food and drink and trade chatter and updates on what they’ve been up to.
I think you’ll agree these are interesting times, with ripples and waves of change permeating the sphere of politics and corridors of leadership and, thus, uncertainty in many hearts and minds of our citizenry. Perhaps as much as any recent Thanksgiving in memory, then many folks are feeling uncertainty. Maybe, then, it’s especially wise to take stock in what it is you have to be thankful for.
We in the media skew heavy in covering topics of unrest and controversy, less well in matters pertaining to gratitude and optimism.
Please check out these offerings from fight game notables, sharing what they are thankful for in these choppy times.
HANNA BOLTE, helpful and benevolent publicist: “I’m grateful to the amazing fighters, writers and team I get to work with every day. I’m grateful for my family, the love and support my mother gave me every day and the grace of God. I wish everyone – fans, fighters and teams – a blessed Thanksgiving!”
ANTHONY CATANZARO, Barclays Center/Brooklyn Boxing executive: “I’m wishing for health, world peace and happiness. On the boxing side, I’m proud of the two ‘Fight of the Year’ candidates at Barclays Center in 2016!”
COYOTE DURAN, RING and UCNLive copy/content editor/artist/podcaster/hilarious husband/delirious dad: “I’m not deserving of my good fortune. I know I’m not. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for it. I’m thankful for the ability to work at home, so I can be around for my younger daughter Makayla, a first-grader, before and after school. I’m thankful to have a job that allows my control freak flag to fly, as I’m a born Grammar Nazi. To work in the boxing media is an added plus and those who risk their lives for my entertainment and livelihood will forever have my gratitude. I’m thankful for my beautiful wife Tracy, who’s married far below her pay grade, as she drives to and from a regular day job to pick up my slack and then some, while supporting my dopey whimsies on a daily basis. I’m thankful for those who have commissioned art from me. I hope you haven’t regretted it. I’m thankful for my three beautiful children – I’m so proud of them all – especially my little Makayla, who I can’t imagine a life without. I’m thankful for my family and in-laws, the latter, whom took me right in and treated me like family from the gate. I’m thankful for my pastor “Coach” Mark Gregory. Without he and my wife, I wouldn’t know God. I’m thankful for all the things I have. I have guitars, art supplies, turtles, cats, a nice TV and an equally nice computer. I don’t need other things when I love what I already have. I’m thankful for all those kind folks who helped give me a name as a writer. Without them, in part, I ultimately wouldn’t have this job. Lastly, I’m thankful for you, Dear Readers. From the bottom of my Trickster heart, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.”
GEORGE FOREMAN, heavyweight champion and legend, grillmaster: “This is the most happy Thanksgiving, just after an election, family is split and now they all unite over a turkey. USA is a special place ’cause of this day, to see family, people watching and waiting for their mom to do pies. Happy Thanksgiving!”
ERIC GOMEZ, Golden Boy vice president: “I’m thankful for my family, health, work. And yes for (THE RING magazine middleweight champion/WBO junior middleweight titlist) Canelo (Alvarez) and HBO!”
RANDY GORDON, SiriusXM boxing host with co-host Gerry Cooney: “As a guy who is immersed in a beautiful and growing family (my 11th grandchild will be here before Winter 2017 is over), I am obviously thankful for that part of my life. I am also thankful to be involved in my other love – professional boxing – for as long as I have. Not many people can say they’ve been able to make a living in professional boxing for that kind of time span. I haven’t backed up my work as an electrician or a bus driver, as a waiter or a construction worker. For me, it’s been 45 years in the sport – 45 incredible years. As an editor…as a manager…as a TV analyst…as a state commissioner…as a promoter for a major hotel…now, as the host of boxing’s farthest-reaching radio show, sitting alongside my broadcast partner, the owner of one of the heavyweight division’s most potent left hooks. Thankful? I am ultra-thankful. I am also thankful for the way boxing is wrapping up 2016 and for the way the schedule looks for 2017. I’m not sure it can get much better for me. I wish the same for you.”
ERIC KELLY, “enter-trainer” at Gleason’s Gym and VICE media personality: “I am thankful for the sport as a whole. It’s because of boxing that I am somebody. I am thankful for (Premier Boxing Champions) and every fighter who risked their life for my entertainment, regardless of their promotional umbrella. From Gleason’s Gym, to RING magazine and the Michael Woods podcast ‘TalkBOX,’ I thank you for allowing me a platform to voice my opinion. Everlast, I thank you for your continued support and dominance in terms of merchandise. (RING/WBC/WBO junior welterweight champion) Terence Crawford, thank you. Shawn Porter, thank you. (WBA welterweight titlist) Keith Thurman, thank you. Abner Mares, thank you. Danny Jacobs, thank you. Leo Santa Cruz, thank you. (WBC welterweight titlist) Danny Garcia, thank you. Shakur Stevenson, thank you. (Peter) Kid Chocolate (Quillin), thank you. Claressa Shields, thank you. (Gennady) ‘GGG’ (Golovkin), thank you. (IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight titleholder Andre) Ward and (Sergey) Kovalev, thank you. I want you all to stay blessed and continue to #GetYourEricKellyOn!”
ALEJANDRO LUNA, welterweight: “I’m grateful to the man upstairs who has given me great family and friends that keep me grounded and keep me motivated to push me forward and, last but not least, health.”
PAUL MALIGNAGGI, Showtime analyst/welterweight: “I’m thankful for my family and friends.”
ABNER MARES, former three-division titlist: “I’m grateful to God, my family, Al Haymon and my team. This year has been a year of changing schedules and new opportunities – I’ve had two fights canceled, one rescheduled and I called the Rio Olympics. It’s been a year in training with my trainer Robert Garcia and I’m excited and ready to step back in the ring and claim my fourth world title. I’m blessed, ready and grateful for all that comes. I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving!”
ERIC MOLINA, heavyweight contender: “This time of the year, I’m grateful I have work, that I’m in the spot always dreamed about, my family and for opportunity (to fight IBF heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua on Dec. 10).”
JOHN MOLINA JR., 140-pound contender: “I’m thankful for my family and my health.”
SERGIO MORA, former junior middleweight titlist: “This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for Al Haymon! LOL!”
COLIN MORRISON, Scottish fight scribe: “I’m thankful for my family. My parents, always helping and supporting me when needed. My siblings, can’t imagine a better brother and sister to grow up with and pleased we are still close as adults. My wife, a great life partner and brilliant mother to our two children. My kids Jake and Evie, I feel so blessed that they are both healthy, happy children and watching them grow each day is my greatest pleasure. I am thankful for the opportunity to work hard and provide for my family, thankful that working provides me with the opportunity to spend some of my time off traveling and, dare I say it, attending boxing in different locations. Speaking of boxing, I am thankful the sport exists, thankful to all the boxers for doing what they do, thankful that it is truly a global sport and also that so many great writers scribble about it. In the past few months, I am especially thankful to the boxing community for welcoming me. I appreciate the support and constructive criticism I have received so far – long may it continue! I will end this by saying that, where I am from, we don’t do Thanksgiving but I am familiar with what it entails. I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all readers who will be celebrating and hope you all have a great day with your families.
DAVID PHILLIPS, Hoosier state boxing writer: “2016 has not been anyone’s idea of a marvelous year. Too many deaths, too many controversies, too much unrest. 2017 will likely come with new and possibly harsher challenges than this year of great lament. But we are still here. We can still fight. And so we will. I am thankful for that.”
“DEDHAM” FREDDIE ROACH, trainer extraordinaire: “I’m thankful for all my fighters working hard and doing a good job, for Manny Pacquiao still being a real good fighter and for me being able to keep on working in the sport I love.”
DERRIC ROSSY, rock-solid heavyweight: “I’m thankful for a lot of stuff but I will try and keep it brief. In the realm of boxing, I am grateful for my health and also for the sport itself. The sport of boxing has always given me a drive that echoes in all facets of my life. I personally feel that boxing has taught me so much, not just about myself but about life in general. Boxing is the greatest mold, I believe, in shaping a would-be great person. I’m grateful for the challenges it presents me because, without them, I would have never grown as an athlete or a person. I, for sure, never would have been the man I am today, that my wife and child love, if it wasn’t for boxing. Boxing has given and still is showing me ways to persevere and to be a better person. So I am thankful that boxing, for me, has given me the life I have today and especially for the people who surround me, they are champions in their own right!”
CLARESSA SHIELDS, two-time Olympic gold medalist, 1-0 as a pro: “Around this time, I’m thankful for a lot of things. I’m thankful for my family because they come in all different shapes and sizes but we all come together to remind each other why we are the way we are, and we all have a small piece of each other inside. I’m thankful for my friends, not just today but all throughout the year, as we help each other so much. And lastly I’m thankful for my blessings and my own heart and way of thinking. God blessed me with a strong mind and good heart and I just continue to try and help people and deliver good vibes.”
DMITRIY SALITA, Brooklyn-based promoter: “I am thankful for having the opportunity to be in the sport I love and grew up in!”
BRUCE SILVERGLADE, owner of new Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York: “I’m thankful for good health, a new gym and the USA.”
KEITH THURMAN, WBA welterweight titlist: “I’m grateful to God, my family, Al Haymon and the entire PBC team, my team and my fans. It’s been a blessed year, personally and professionally, and I look forward to getting back in the ring in 2017. The challenges and setbacks this year only strengthened me. God bless my fans. I can’t wait to win another title and show them what ‘One Time’ is all about. One love.”
“BRIGHTON” BOBBY TRIEGER, boxing publicist: “Thankful to be working the best nationally-televised boxing series, ‘Knockout Night at the D,’ which showcases tomorrow’s stars now. Most thankful for my daughter’s wedding this past October. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Also thankful for our long-lasting friendship through all the ups and downs in life!”
ANSON WAINWRIGHT, RING contributor: “I am thankful to boxing for always keeping me on my toes, just when you think you have a handle on something, things change. The cast in boxing, from media, promoters, managers and trainers is always entertaining…not to mention the fighters! Although we haven’t had all the fights we’ve hoped for this year, we’ve still had entertaining bouts featuring Francisco Vargas-Orlando Salido, Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter and Roman Gonzalez-Carlos Cuadras, big events such as GGG-Kell Brook, Canelo-Amir Khan and Kovalev-Ward, the emergence on the world scene of potential stars like Oleksandr Usyk, Errol Spence and Oscar Valdez and we still have bouts like (WBO junior lightweight titleholder Vasyl) Lomachenko-(Nicholas) Walters, Crawford-Molina, (Joseph) Parker-(Andy) Ruiz (Jr.), (Bernard) Hopkins-(Joe) Smith (Jr.) and the now-traditional yearend gluttony of title fights in Japan to look forward to before the year end. What’s not to like?”
MICHAEL WOODS, RING/NYFights writer/podcast host/super-lucky husband/proud dad: “I’m thankful for family and friends. My kids, bless their sweet souls, they are my foundation. My wife, who is an incredibly hard worker, who beyond decently allows me to pursue this vocational track, instead of demanding I sell insurance or find another more stable vocation. This neighborhood I’m charmed to live in, good souls are surrounding me. And so many immigrant stories, too. Today I talked to one person who came from Austria three months ago and is loving NYC, rents and all. And the waitress at the diner came from Venezuela three weeks ago. Over there, she dealt with wicked food shortages and scary levels of unrest. I am thankful for those pockets of time when I have a decent handle on proper perspective, when I’m not worrying about balancing a budget or mental or emotional or vocational and any other form of hiccups. I’m thankful I get to do this, and for you all for reading. HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING, FRIENDS. REMEMBER TO COUNT THOSE BLESSINGS!”
You heard the man; start counting! But seriously, Happy Thanksgiving from Michael Woods and RingTV.com.
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