Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over

photogarph: Pete Souza
Sometimes life is stranger than fiction. Tim Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KO’s) was facing Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KO’s) for the interim WBO Welterweight title on Saturday night. The fight was plainly going in Bradley's direction. Vargas’s performance seemed lackluster as Bradley stalked him around the ring. Bradley was obviously ahead on points. Then Vargas hit Bradley with a big punch that wobbled him and just as Vargas was about to throw another punch the referee Pat Russell waved him off stopping the fight. It was a big upset and Vargas was jubilant. The only problem is that the fight wasn’t over. Russell had mistakenly thought the 10 second warning was the bell signalling the end of the final round. There was time left and there had been no valid reason to stop the bout. The stoppage was a mistake. However, because there was no knockout, the fight went to points and Bradley took the belt. There are many practical lessons to be learned from the events that transpired, amongst them, it ain’t over until it’s over. If this were a work of fiction, we might have faulted the author for a trick ending. Because it’s life, it affords us a lesson in the kind of improbabilities that constitute the nature of the universe. If you look at the recent headlines, you might say the same thing about the Obama presidency. Here we had a beleaguered leader with a recalcitrant Republican dominated congress whose sole mandate was to frustrate the Democratic agenda. There was little aisle crossing in the name of principle and it looked like the presidency might even go down as a fiasco. Certainly Obama didn’t show the political muscle of the great populist arm twisters like LBJ, who got things done. But then with the stunning affirmations of Affordable Care and Same Sex Marriage, two decisions of historical importance, the passage of the Trade Pact and the possibility of deal with Iran on nuclear weapons, Obama’s approval ratings soared to 50%, according to CNNOn a more poetic or shall we say global level the fight teaches a less optimistic lesson. You may fight until the end, score a terrific upset and still lose because life is unfair and man a puny animal in an indifferent universe. You might admire Bradley for his tremendous drive and secretly feel relieved he prevailed, yet the truth is the fight was unfairly stolen from Vargas. Unlike in our judicial system, the judges in this case, were not able to declare a mistrial. Will Hillary Clinton who everyone thinks is going to win, get sucker punched, looked like she's going to go down and then prevail on a technicality?

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