For years, people asked for me to bring back the staff picks feature. This year, with a solid crew firmly in place, I acquiesced. Starting on May 4 for Canelo vs Jacobs and Beterbiev vs Kalajdzic, myself, Wil Esco, Patrick L. Stumberg, and Lewis Watson laid it all on the line for the biggest fights of the week.
We put our reputations at stake on 87 fights in total. And here are the results.
We wound up finishing within a few “wins” of one another, since most fights are, frankly, expected to go a certain way. Even if we all get it wrong — which happened a few times, we’ll get to that — the pick was the same. There are very few fights truly split. Nobody’s picking Brandon Adams to beat Jermall Charlo, for instance. But then again — well, we’ll get to that, too.
But the winner is Wil Esco, beating out Patrick L. Stumberg by two wins, and yours truly came in a gentleman’s fourth, having taken a few more hard cracks at upsets along the way than the rest of these cowards.
Records are Win-Loss-Draw (fights that wound up a draw, that is, if you picked a draw and it wasn’t, which happened once, that’s a loss), with the “KO” in parentheses being an exact right pick, or close to an exact right pick; if you picked a stoppage win for someone and it ended as a stoppage for them, that’s a “KO,” regardless of specific round pick. If you picked a decision win for someone and they won by decision, that’s a “KO,” etc.
- Wil Esco, 67-17-3 (43)
- Patrick L. Stumberg, 65-19-3 (46)
- Lewis Watson, 64-20-3 (38)
- Scott Christ, 63-21-3 (43)
Wil puts up the best record overall by a couple, but if you were looking for the exact right finish, Patrick did a little better than everyone else.
Called Their Shot
Here is a rundown of the times one staffer picked against the other three and got it right:
- Lewis — Ladarius Miller over Jezreel Corrales (July 27)
- Patrick — Alexander Povetkin over Hughie Fury (Aug. 31)
- Scott — Artur Beterbiev over Oleksandr Gvozdyk (Oct. 18)
- Wil — Lewis Ritson over Robbie Davies Jr (Oct. 19)
- Scott — Jean Pascal over Badou Jack (Dec. 28)
So this only happened five times, and in retrospect it’s clear the rest of us were plum on drugs for that Povetkin-Fury fight.
Here is a rundown of the times one staffer picked against the tide and got it wrong:
- Scott — Krzysztof Glowacki over Mairis Briedis (June 15)
- Lewis — Kid Galahad over Josh Warrington (June 15)
- Wil — Aston Palicte over Kazuto Ioka (June 19)
- Wil — Ray Beltran over Richard Commey (June 28)
- Scott — Masayoshi Nakatani over Teofimo Lopez (July 19)
- Scott — Omar Figueroa Jr over Yordenis Ugas (July 20)
- Wil — Keith Thurman over Manny Pacquiao (July 20)
- Patrick — Rocky Martinez over Yuriorkis Gamboa (July 27)
- Scott — Chris Arreola over Adam Kownacki (Aug. 3)
- Lewis — Anthony Yarde over Sergey Kovalev (Aug. 24)
- Scott — John Molina Jr over Josesito Lopez (Sept. 28)
- Scott — Shawn Porter over Errol Spence Jr (Sept. 28)
- Patrick — Luis Collazo over Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (Oct. 18)
- Scott — Ted Cheeseman over Scott Fitzgerald (Oct. 19)
- Scott — Manny Robles III over Xu Can (Nov. 23, technically Lewis put down the sole draw prediction here, but I’m counting it, and as such)
- Lewis — Draw in Can-Robles (Nov. 23)
- Patrick — Matt Korobov over Chris Eubank Jr (Dec. 7)
- Patrick — Cristofer Rosales over Julio Cesar Martinez (Dec. 20)
This happened way more often, because that’s the likely outcome of throwing down this sort of gamble. All of these picks were solidly against conventional wisdom, other than Pacquiao-Thurman which was closer to 50/50.
Yours truly was the king of the dumbshit bet, whiffing on these wagers eight entire times. Patrick did it four times, Lewis and Wil three times each, so I was at least two times more recklessly stupid than anyone else. I live my life a quarter mile at a time, lads. (But seriously, Omar Figueroa? Chris Arreola? Come on.)
All in all, here’s how we did in these situations:
- Wil, 1-3
- Lewis, 1-3
- Patrick, 1-4
- Scott, 2-8
Go big or go home.
Team Swing and a Miss
Here is the list of fights where we all got it wrong:
- Julian Williams UD-12 Jarrett Hurd (May 11)
- Andy Ruiz Jr TKO-7 Anthony Joshua (June 1)
- Ryota Murata TKO-2 Rob Brant (July 12)
- David Price RTD-10 Dave Allen (July 20)
- Jean Pascal TD-8 Marcus Browne (Aug. 3)
- Rene Alvarado RTD-7 Andrew Cancio (Nov. 23)
Not all of these were true gimmes on paper. Williams was a solid contender but nobody was picking him to beat Hurd, and Murata beating Brant in the rematch isn’t that shocking, but we all picked one way in those fights.
The rest, though, were all thought to be slam dunks. Joshua was gonna thrash Ruiz, Allen would stop Price after a few, Browne would be too young for Pascal, Cancio had already beaten Alvarado before and was on a roll. None of these things proved out.
We’ll be continuing this in 2020, and in a year we’ll see how we all did again. An extra four months of picks could make fools of wise men and vice versa, and I would say I’ll adjust my own strategy to not be so idiotically bold, but I like to have a good time, so I’ll probably just do it even more.