Waving Goodbye to Boxing Chronicle.comNovember 23, 2002 - This evening Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward met in an Atlantic City boxing ring to settle a few disputes stemming from their razor-close Fight of the Century. It was, for the most part, a thrilling bout... despite the fact that Arturo Gatti swept all ten rounds on our most unofficial of scorecards. After the fight, it was clear: Micky Ward should retire. And so should Boxing Chronicle.com.

After two rounds of sizzling action, during which both Gatti and Ward landed precision body shots and head-snapping hook, the epic third round of their contest began. Neither man landed an effective shot for almost a minute. Then Ward walked into a chopping Gatti right hand. The punch dropped Ward to his knees, and he crashed headfirst into a turnbuckle. Your dutiful reporter scribbled a short description of the sequence in his trusty notebook. After Irish Micky (who is really Scottish) rose on wobbly legs and barely passed the "are you okay?" test, Gatti charged at him with both guns blazing. As Gatti hammered Ward on the ropes with an uppercut, I scratched down the punch on my pad. As the fans cheered on, I furiously tried to notate the myriad of punches Gatti was heaving towards Ward. After a minute, during which Ward was trapped in a corner taking the unprotected beating of his career, Gatti paused to take a breath. I used the lull to jot yet more notes. To celebrate his temporary reprieve from the cruel punishment Gatti was doling out to him, Ward grimaced, tapped his midsection and gestured for Gatti to bring it on. It was pure excitement, even if Gatti answered the taunt with a sizzling right hand that re-buckled Ward's legs and started another stretch of clean combination punching.

When Micky Ward made the indication that he was fine and that he wanted the war to continue, I threw down my pen. I was missing the point. One of the great rounds in recent boxing history was unfolding in front of me, and I was hurriedly capturing the action on paper instead of enjoying the sweetness of this most violent science. For the rest of the fight, rather than chronicle the ebbs and flows of the action (although there were few... this was Gatti's night to shine) I simply sat back and enjoyed the fight. It's been a long time since I've done that. Since 1998 I've covered nearly every major bout... sometimes in excruciating detail. Round three of Gatti-Ward II made me realize that boxing has become work, instead of fun.

I began Boxing Chronicle.com several years ago for two main reasons. First, I needed to snap a wicked case of writer's block (I am a writer by day, too), and second, I didn't think there were many sites that covered the round-by-round happenings of big fights. It worked. The block broke and soon thousands of you were reading this site because your VCR didn't tape the fight, your wife wanted a night out, your cable went on the fritz, or you just wanted to relive the action of a particularly good bout. Encouraged by the large response Boxing Chronicle generated, I began expanding the site's content and updating nearly every weekend that there was a major bout.

For the last four years, I've spent my Saturdays watching the fights and then updating Boxing Chronicle until the early a.m. hours. I've enjoyed doing it for the most part. I've been able to meet many people in the sport and sit ringside for major fights in the press section for free. I've appeared on radio shows as an "expert" and received autographs from just about every fighter I respect. This has been a lot of fun. But it has been a lot of work. Aside from a brief sponsorship from Larry Holmes' (now defunct) online casino, this site has always been ad-free (read: profit free). I've never had an annoying pop-up, and I've absolutely never taken money from a promoter for advertising and then "objectively" covered his fighter(s). (And, yes, I've been offered.) I've maintained this site for love of the sport, not for monetary gain.

But now I'm finding that Boxing Chronicle is impeding on my love of the sport. Sometimes, I just want to watch a fight... not cover a fight. As I mentioned, I write for a living... and having to write during my limited free time has become a little tedious. What's more, the birth of my first son has taken up even more of my schedule. Recently, I haven't even had the time to update this site's odds and predictions, or answer dozens of requests for links on our links page.

And so, to make short story even longer, I am taking an indefinite hiatus from the operation of Boxing Chronicle.com. I am doing this to rekindle my enjoyment of boxing. The prospect of watching Mayweather-Castillo and Klitschko-McCline in two weeks without a deadline, without having to take notes, and without having to recap every round... well, it sounds like heaven.

I would like to thank the many faithful readers of Boxing Chronicle, and there are thousands of you. Many of you originate in countries that don't carry these bouts on television, and I've enjoyed receiving email from boxing fans around the world. Not all of the emails I've gotten over the years have agreed with me. Some of you thought I was downright nuts at times. But I always tried to call it the way I saw it. Thank you all for reading and writing these last four years.

I'd also like to thank GorDoom, editor of the CyberBoxingZone.com. The CBZ was the first boxing website to print my boxing ramblings (they still do), and they remain one of the very best boxing websites online. For his part, GorDoom always complimented my work... even when a few of the fight recaps were less than stellar. I hope someday I can repay him for the support he's given my career.

I'd also like to thank Dan Rafael of USA Today (I knew him before he was boxing's big shot!), Emanuel Steward and the folks at KronkGym.com (who also ran some of my early work), and Larry Merchant (for once telling me "That's a stupid question." He was right.)

Last, but not least, I'd like to thank my beautiful wife. While she is an unabashed fan of Shane Mosley and perhaps the single best Harold Lederman impersonator ever, she has also given up more Saturday nights to boxing than any woman should be forced to give up. She now knows more about pugilism than most men, but I'm not sure she'd consider it a fair trade-off.

I will keep the Boxing Chronicle archives online for a few months. After that time, I may feel rejuvenated and return to covering the sport. Or I may take the site down. I haven't decided. In the meantime, remember: Tua over Rahman, Byrd over Holyfield, if Lennox fights on he will regret it, Mosley beats DelaHoya ten times out of ten, Tyson has nothing left and can only beat no-hopers, Marco Antonio Barrera is the real pound-for-pound best, and most of what you read about boxing on the Internet is pure hype.

Farewell for now. Feel free to send your final comments. Or just email to talk boxing. I'll reply eventually.


Chris Bushnell


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