AFTER THE "O" GOES - Last Saturday night was a very good evening for many boxing fans.
It was not a good night for the previously undefeated pair of Serhiy Dzinziruk or Craig McEwan, who shared a HBO broadcast Foxwoods card; and who each got thumped.
On a night when the eyes of the global boxing community were focussed on USA events, European ex-pats Dzinziruk and McEwan were among those defeated in high profile bouts that ignited brutal energy from east to west coasts.
For Dzinzurik and McEwan, besides the obvious physical toll, emotions may have taken even more jarring blasts. The losses represent a hard reality check in their quests for fortune and glory, as in : will there be any?
That doesn't mean McEwan, a Scottish to LA transplant or the Ukranian born, previously German-based Dzinziruk have anything to be ashamed of. They were both well prepared and fought honorably, if less than successfully.
Dzinziruk got stopped by Sergio Martinez, one of the very fiercest pound for pound boxers there is. McEwan got conked out after decent showing against Andy Lee, a decent fellow prospect. Disappointing? Of course. Derailing? Shouldn't be.
Still, the fact that neither relatively untested hopeful failed to emerge from the weekend with as much "moral victory" as old warhorse Ricardo Mayorga may be the most precise indicator of how much stardom presently lies ahead.
Either loss could still be make or break situations.
Perhaps each fighter reached their limit last weekend, but they do not seem like the type to fold in the face of adversity.
Besides, they've come too far to turn back now.
I remember some of McClain's early bouts at Desert Diamond outside Tucson, when he was still fresh off the airplane from oversea. McEwan was thrilled about moving into a low rent hotel across the street from Wild Card Gym, just so he could try and convince Fred Roach to train him. Hopefully the thrill is not gone.
From what I saw a few years ago, McEwan will try and make the loss into part of a longer learning process.
The same goes for Dzinziruk, who has pretty much followed his stated plan about relocation to the letter so far, though defeat was not in the initial equation. From my limited, poorly translated contact with Dzinziruk following his victory over Joel Julio, I got the impression he was indeed a boxer to keep an eye on. Fighting on the Felix Sturm - Sebastian Sylvester undercard, which included Marcos Maidana; that night Dzinziruk looked better than anyone except the still under-rated Sturm.
As far as life in the highest clouds goes, a boxing dream of fame and glory is very often an American dream, whatever part of the planet you first lace them up.
Dzinziruk and McEwan lost their fights, but that doesn't mean they're real losers, at least not based on the courage of continental convictions.
Career-wise, the record book accurately reflects important losses; no minor detail.
The "more to the story" this time involves relocated workers from outside the box and inside the ring, who ventured forth to the States seeking to increase their vocational value. Each man looked upon these once-distant shores and saw hope for a better future. Each man got over here and performed on the big stage square.
The dukeout dream may not have some completely true, but they followed it to fruition. Living that dream involves a lot of blood, sweat and maybe involuntary tears.
None of those are minor details either. Dzinziruk, McEwan, and a lot of other visitors including Americans abroad who don't get the win; are still a valuable part of what makes their sport great. They fought hard and represented their homelands and themselves with integrity.
Rarely does the record book say it all.
Welcome to America, boys. Protect yoursef at all times.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV