From our pal Brin…
Head on over to Victory Journal and dig into Brin-Jonathan Butler’s story on our man El Duque (lavishly illustrated by Mickey Duzjj).
I’m late on this but in case you missed it do yourself a favor and check out Brin-Jonathan Butler’s portrait of Manny Pacquiao for SB Nation Longform:
After eight frustrating years, four controversial fights, 42 contentiously scored rounds, with over 500 punches landed from more than 1,800 thrown, after two grueling hours of opportunity under the spotlight, on Dec. 8, 2012, Juan Manuel Marquez finally landed the punch of a lifetime against Manny Pacquiao. It happened with just one second left in the sixth round of their mythic saga. Pacquiao charged forward to land one final blow before the bell, and instead added his own momentum to Marquez’s immaculately-timed, coup de grace right-hand, which landed flush against Pacquiao’s jaw. On TV, when the punch landed, Pacquiao’s back was to the camera. The reverberations of the impact were only detectable through the sudden jolt of Pacquiao’s wet hair on the back of his head.
But isn’t this a staple of wrestling, meant to fool? Since the punch itself had landed with such comic book emphasis, the traction of the unfolding human drama, along with reality, became unhinged and, for an instant, suspended. In confusion and disbelief, many people watching around me in a New York bar laughed in horror. As Charlie Chaplin famously pointed out, from a distance, a man slipping on a banana peel or stumbling down a manhole is funny. It’s something altogether different up close. And since Pacquiao had fallen face-first and remained motionless, almost fastened to the canvas, there were no cues.
Over at Longform, Brin-Jonathan Butler writes about a boxer who trains Wall Street dudes (and then disses ’em like he was the second coming of Robin Harris):
“At the end of the day all these Wall Street cats wanna feel like men,” Kelly explains calmly, lightly tapping me against the shoulder while we wait outside his gym in the cold for the mother of one of his young students to pick up her son. “They just never had daddy say to ’em, ‘Hey champ, you’re 19 and a sophomore in college now and you ain’t never been in a fight in your life. Guess what? You might be a pussy.’ Daddy never had that conversation with these motherfuckers. ‘Hey son, you might be soft.’ So guess what? They come to Eric Kelly to do it for ’em.”