WELL, THAT WAS A WEIRD YEAR.
In 2019, we brought back to the staff picks feature in May, starting at the Canelo-Daniel Jacobs fight, and I counted up the standings from there. Overall, in about seven months, we made picks for 87 fights in total.
This year, we were rolling from the start of the year, ready for a full season. And then COVID hit, we lost about three months of anything in boxing — which all in all wasn’t even a blip on the pandemic’s radar, mind you — and by the end, myself, Wil Esco, Patrick L. Stumberg, and Lewis Watson got in a total of 71 picks.
Still enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.
(The photo up top, by the way, is “Golden Gloves winners Pete Spanakos and Nick Spanakos with coach Jerry Capoziello showing their trophies.” Here’s a story on the Red Hook twins from the NY Daily News.)
(Also, we would have done Ioka-Tanaka to close out 2020, but it was just kind of goofy timing deadline-wise with the Christmas holiday basically being a four-day weekend this year.)
Last year, we all finished within four “wins” of one another. That’s not the case this year; it’s the case for the top three, but not so much the last place man.
Patrick L. Stumberg, who placed second in 2019, is the staff picks king and champion for 2020, just barely edging out Lewis Watson, and I was just barely behind those guys.
Records are Win-Loss-Draw (fights that wound up a draw or no contest that is; if you picked a draw and it wasn’t, 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.
- Patrick L. Stumberg, 55-14-2 (33)
- Lewis Watson, 54-15-2 (35)
- Scott Christ, 53-16-2 (35)
- Wil Esco, 45-24-2 (26)
Last year, Wil finished in the top spot, edging Patrick out by two picks. Wil had a real Florida/Miami Marlins year, winning a championship and then immediately dismantling the team. He will now aim to do a Braves and Twins ‘91 thing and go worst to first. (Listen, I’m 30 or 40 years old and I barely pay attention to other sports over the last 12 years at least, so yes, all my references are very dated.)
Called Their Shot
Here is a rundown of the times one staffer picked against the other three and got it right:
- Scott — Joe Smith Jr over Jesse Hart (Jan. 11)
- Lewis — Sebastian Fundora over Daniel Lewis (Feb. 22)
- Lewis — Jono Carroll over Scott Quigg (Mar. 7)
- Scott — Joshua Franco over Andrew Moloney (June 23)
- Lewis — Jessica McCaskill over Cecilia Braekhus (Aug. 15)
- Scott — Alexander Povetkin over Dillian Whyte (Aug. 22)
- Lewis — Joe Smith Jr over Eleider Alvarez (Aug. 22)
- Scott — Joe Joyce over Daniel Dubois (Nov. 28)
Here is a rundown of the times one staffer picked against the tide and got it wrong:
- Wil — Jezzrel Corrales over Chris Colbert (Jan. 18)
- Scott — Danny Roman over Murodjon Akhmadaliev (Jan. 30)
- Lewis — Tugstogt Nyambayar over Gary Russell Jr (Feb. 8)
- Scott — Deontay Wilder over Tyson Fury (Feb. 22)
- Wil — Sam Eggington over Ted Cheeseman (Aug. 1)
- Scott — Terrell Gausha over Erickson Lubin (Sept. 19)
- Patrick — Sergiy Derevyanchenko over Jermall Charlo (Sept. 26)
- Wil — Alex Saucedo over Arnold Barboza Jr (Oct. 17)
- Scott — Leo Santa Cruz over Gervonta Davis (Oct. 31)
- Scott — Martin Murray over Billy Joe Saunders (Dec. 4)
- Wil — Kamil Szeremeta over Gennadiy Golovkin (Dec. 18)
- Wil — Callum Smith over Canelo Alvaarez (Dec. 19)
Wil’s last two Hail Marys were meant as a catch-up tactic. Turns out it wouldn’t have made any difference, but he still would’ve looked cool if they’d happened.
Team Swing and a Miss
Here is the list of fights where we all got it wrong:
- Jeison Rosario TKO-5 Julian Williams (Jan. 18)
- Joseph Diaz Jr UD-12 Tevin Farmer (Jan. 30)
- Robert Helenius TKO-4 Adam Kownacki (Mar. 7)
- Mike Plania MD-10 Joshua Greer Jr (June 16)
- Teofimo Lopez UD-12 Vasiliy Lomachenko (Oct. 17)
On to the new year!