Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'boxing'

The Unapologetic Cipher

January 24th, 2013 · 5 Comments

I’m midway through David Remnick’s biography of Muhammad Ali, which is pretty much as stellar as you would expect. Yet there are times when I wish the narrative would instead focus on the tragic figure of Sonny Liston—what can I say, I’m attracted to characters who will never be universally adored, and who perhaps take […]

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Gorilla Jones and His Lions

November 1st, 2012 · No Comments

While recently listening to a few selections from Mae West’s misguided rock album, I came across the tale of one of her associates, a middleweight boxer by the name of Gorilla Jones. The exact nature of Jones’ relationship with the famously libidinous West is hard to establish—he has variously been mentioned as her bodyguard, her […]

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Bobby Lee Hunter, Cont’d

August 21st, 2012 · 4 Comments

One of the great joys of this whole Microkhan endeavor is reaching folks who might not otherwise have occasion to check out our work. And some of those good correspondents are not only interested observers, but also characters in the various yarns we unspool. Our recent post about the rise and fall of incarcerated pugilist […]

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The Curious Case of Bobby Lee Hunter

August 6th, 2012 · 7 Comments

Per the usual, the Olympic boxing tournament has been something of a farce, with scoring scandals predictably aplenty. Every four years, such controversy reminds me of the tale of Bobby Lee Hunter, a once-celebrated boxer I have been trying to locate for the better part of a decade. Hunter was a world-beating American flyweight who […]

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The Master of “What If?”

June 13th, 2012 · No Comments

A year ago I wrote about the great Cuban boxer Teófilo Stevenson, who passed away on Monday. I, like so many others, have always been awestruck by Stevenson’s willingness to forego a pro career, one that would have doubtless earned him millions of dollars. He instead chose to live a simple life in Cuba, where […]

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The Downward Spiral

February 10th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I’m sorely tempted to launch a whole new Microkhan series about the late-career floundering of high achievers. I’m just fascinated by this concept of how the truly great cope with the inevitable diminishment of their skills, as well as the revelation that they really should have taken better care of their personal affairs while riding […]

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A Rare and Monstrous Talent

September 23rd, 2011 · 3 Comments

I’m the early stages of planning a new Wired project, one that will delve into the economics of how to properly compensate “ultra-specialists”—that is, people who possess the unusual ability to tackle extremely arcane tasks. I guess the classic example here would be those left-handed relief pitchers who make millions by appearing in a handful […]

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Skin in the Game

June 9th, 2011 · No Comments

Given all we know about the wonders of the placebo effect, I’m always deeply skeptical about alternative medical practices that have never been the subject of peer-reviewed scrutiny. Yet I’m also deeply fascinated by the techniques employed by legendary boxing cutmen, many of whom had the ability to stanch geysers of blood—without sutures—in less than […]

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“He Stayed to Write a Grander Legend”

May 6th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Since I can scarcely imagine life without the biological rocket fuel known as caffeine, I’m counting my lucky stars this morning that I’m not a Cuban. That’s because sky-high coffee prices have forced the government to cut rations, meaning that Cuba’s java addicts must now satisfy their urges with a beverage partly concocted from roasted […]

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The Magnificient

September 28th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Given my longstanding fascination with North-East India, one of the primary settings for my 386-page labor o’ love, I’ve been following Mary Kom’s boxing career for a good while now. The 27-year-old mother of twins just won her fifth world championship, a feat that earned her a true hero’s welcome in her native state of […]

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“People Who Died for Our Entertainment”

May 4th, 2010 · No Comments

Back in the 1930s, a New York subway conductor named Manuel Velazquez befriended a middling boxer named Pete “Kid Indian” Nebo. Like many pugilists of the era, Nebo fought two to three times per week in order to make ends meet. As a result of his athletic pursuit, Nebo suffered terrible brain damage, and was […]

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The Man Who Wasn’t There

February 5th, 2010 · 1 Comment

We fully acknowledge that this wasn’t a red-letter week at Microkhan, at least in terms of posting frequency. Paying gigs got in the way, as did Microkhan Jr.—the parenting equation has changed dramatically now that he’s figured out how to open the front door. Worry not, though, we’ll be back to full strength next week—though […]

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Supply, Demand, and Pugilistic Marsupials

February 4th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Apologies for being late with this year’s obligatory Australia Day post. Though we’ve never had the pleasure of visiting the island continent ourselves, we’ve long enjoyed the company of Aussie compatriots—especially those we’ve encountered while roaming the far corners of the globe, since the Aussies always seem to know where the bar is. More importantly, […]

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The Toughest Traveller in Teesside

June 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Two weeks ago, we posted about a pub kerfuffle in Ireland that appeared to stem from anti-Traveller prejudice (mixed in, perhaps, with some randy behavior by the Travellers themselves). We’ve since kept our eyes peeled for Traveller-related news, seeing as how we only scratched the surface of the community’s history and contemporary situation. The news, […]

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The Battle of Balbriggan

May 14th, 2009 · 7 Comments

During our time in Ireland, we never ceased to be mystified by the venom spewed toward Travellers, perhaps the Emerald Isle’s largest ethnic minority. For starters, we had a tough time differentiating Travellers from their countrymen, although our Irish comrades never seemed to fail at the task. Alas, many of those comrades were barkeeps, and […]

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