IBR on The Cruelest Sport


Boxing is a sport that adds years to lives without extending them, that both glosses over and emphasizes the fact that getting punched in the head is bad for you. Admittedly, the study of brain trauma is a new and underdeveloped field, and it is still unclear whether the majority of the cognitive deficits that are associated with blunt head blows result from the physical trauma itself, or the brain responding to this trauma. Those deficits, however, are undeniable—even obvious—in boxing. Boxing can chuck a man out of his prime like a bouncer, dumping him on the curb, where balance, coordination, cognition and speech get lost in the gathering crowd. This is what is happening when a fighter gets old before our eyes. This is the ugly side of growing old in a bloodsport—the side that counts in dog years, that places asterisks next to ages and question marks on futures.

Read FALLOUT: On Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao on The Cruelest Sport.


IBR on The Cruelest Sport

Brandon Rios v Mike Alvarado

“To alter his fate Alvarado would have to outbox his rugged antagonist, and while Rios could be outboxed, the odds of a thuggish former wrestler who came late to the sport being able to do it were slim. Yet this is precisely what Alvarado did. Under the lights of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, a city fueled by foregone conclusions and hopeless delusions, Alvarado outboxed Rios over twelve heated rounds, winning a unanimous decision.”

Read “Blood In, Blood Out: Mike Alvarado W12 Brandon Rios” on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


‘“First lies, then pressure, then more lies, then more pressure, then the truth. That is how you get the truth.” This is the cruel methodology of Colonel Joll in “Waiting for the Barbarians.” One can see this drama playing out as Alvarado boxes to middling effect; Rios all the while pressuring him, hurting him, and exhorting him to reciprocate until the lies are worn away and this truth is bared: an entertaining loss to Rios may be Alvarado’s ceiling as a fighter.’

Read Turning Screws: On Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado II on The Cruelest Sport.