The Compassionate Corner

By Ted Sares on April 30, 2012
The Compassionate Corner
With a mark of 32-5, Stafford, England's Jamie Moore has nothing for which to be ashamed

Sometimes a fighter has an unwritten pact with his corner, that if he simply no longer has it—if it all suddenly disappears—he must be saved from himself…

“Jamie Moore is a great kid…He and Matt (Matthew Macklin) were joking and praising each other. Both of them fought with so much bravery. I really hope that Jamie goes on to do anything and everything that he wants to do because he really deserves it. He showed that incredible bravery which we already knew he had and he showed those ring smarts which I warned Matt about.”—Billy Graham, Macklin’s trainer

Sometimes a corner seems paralyzed to waive the white towel. Sometimes a fighter’s entire support system (his corner, the referee, and the ringside doctor) lets him or her down. Oscar Diaz found this to be the case when he was mugged by Golden Johnson a few years back. Allowing Shannon Briggs to continue to take punishment against Vitali Klitschko bordered on malfeasance. Davey Moore was almost killed in the ring by an aroused Roberto Duran before that slaughter was stopped at the Garden years ago. However, there also is a flip side.

When Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez finally caught up to Birmingham’s game Matthew Macklin on March 3, 2012, the knockdowns were dangerous neck snapping ones. “Mack the Knife” was cut down twice in round 11 and despite his warrior propensities, he was in no condition to continue. When a fighter is hurt at the end of a round, he becomes especially vulnerable and Buddy McGirt, as an ex-fighter, knew this. He also knew what to do by stopping the fight. Freddie Roach did the same with Gerry Penalosa against a prime Juan Manuel Lopez. Freddie knew that Gary would have to be saved from himself. And God knows so did Eddie Futch in Manila when he had “seen enough” and would not allow Joe Frazier to continue against the strong protest from his brave fighter.

Jamie Moore

Jamie fought a true classic with Matthew Macklin in 2006 with the British Light Middleweight Title at stake. It was throwback ebb and flow type of fight in which Macklin controlled the early action but in so doing gassed badly. Jamie then came on and knocked out Macklin via a scorching hook that left the tough fellow Brit on the canvas for several scary minutes. Macklin left the ring on a stretcher but thankfully recovered. The affable and respectful Moore cancelled his post-fight victory party to visit his opponent at the hospital. He visited him again before he was discharged from the hospital. This fight may well become a part of Brit boxing lore as it was every bit the UK’s answer to Gatti-Ward.

This was the same Jamie Moore from Stafford who stopped Michael Jones in 2005 in a barnburner in which Moore was down twice in the 3rd and Jones was down twice in the 5th and once in 6th and final blistering round. The two had participated in a great trilogy during which Moore won the BBBofC British Light Middleweight Title in 2003.

After a great run of twelve straight wins, the very popular Jamie was beaten up and stopped in seven by Ryan Rhodes in 2009. After six rounds of give and take, the 7th round turned out to be an incredible display of two very tough men firing everything they had and both getting wobbled in the process. But Rhodes finally caught Jamie on the ropes and pummeled him until the fight was halted. Jamie was the favorite going in, but struggling with making the weight may have taken its toll.

Six months later, Jamie experienced every boxer’s nightmare when he grew old overnight while fighting unknown and limited Siarhei “The Ghost” Khomitski (21-7-1 coming in on the David Haye-John Ruiz undercard shown on television. Jamie is the kind of crowd-pleasing fighter you simply have to respect. During several of his fights, I recall the crowd chanting “Moorsey, Mooresy” as he mounted one of his patented toe-to-toe turnabouts, while his close friend Ricky Hatton would jump to his feet at ringside urging him on. In this one and until the final minute of the 6th stanza, Jamie appeared to be in charge. But then, out of the blue, he was hurt by a series of crunching shots both upstairs and downstairs and when the bell saved him, he walked slowly back to his corner.

Compassion

Sometimes, though not often enough, a fighter has an unwritten pact with his corner, that if he simply no longer has it—if it all suddenly disappears—he (the fighter) must be saved from himself. With a guy like Jamie who entertained us in so many great wars in the past, that’s exactly what was required and that’s exactly what was done. In a moving scene, his corner saved him from humiliation and allowed him to go out with dignity. Everyone in the arena knew it including Khomitski.

The defeat against the unknown Belarusian Ghost was especially disappointing for Moore who had hoped for a lucrative rematch with Macklin. In the post-fight interview, he mentioned weight as a possible factor, and also hinted at retirement. With a mark of 32-5, he has nothing for which to be ashamed. He gave us all we could ask for in a fighter; he entertained us with many classic battles—and therein is the rub. There were simply too many such battles which finally culminated in his being defeated by an unknown journeyman in front of his beloved Manchester fans.

But then, boxing never promised anyone a happy ending, but at least Jamie retained his dignity.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Jamie Moore vs Matthew Macklin 1/6



Jamie Moore vs Matthew Macklin 2/6



Jamie Moore vs Matthew Macklin 3/6



Jamie Moore vs Matthew Macklin 4/6



Jamie Moore vs Matthew Macklin 5/6



Jamie Moore vs Matthew Macklin 6/6



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  1. the thresher 04:30pm, 05/01/2012

    Thanks Mike. I may be the only American who likes UK fighters the most.

  2. TEX HASSLER 12:52pm, 05/01/2012

    No one can over estimate the value of good corner people or a highly capable referee. We do not like to think about it but in reality Death can be only a few punches away. When I boxed, like most young men, I never considered just how very dangerous boxing really was. Most young men never think about getting killed in the ring.

  3. dollarbond 05:44am, 05/01/2012

    This kind of thing doesn’t happen enough in boxing.  Maybe compassion and boxing is an oxymoron.

  4. Norm Marcus 03:03am, 05/01/2012

    Great story Ted! Most people forget the power of the corner during a fight. Boxers always want to continue, never quit. Can be a life changing decision. The boxer has to come first, the win second. A very fine line. This story gives us a lot to think about.

  5. mikecasey 12:10am, 05/01/2012

    Excellent salute to the gutsy Jamie Moore, Ted. The Macklin fight will live in my memory forever. What courage and fighting spirit by both men!

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