On Aug. 24 in Minneapolis, a journeyman heavyweight named Curtis Harper surprised his opponent (undefeated KO artist Efe Ajagba), his corner (including trainer Nate Campbell), the promoters, the crowd, and even his wife, by stepping out of the ring after the opening bell and striding back to the dressing room.
Afterward, Harper was ripped by the promoters, scolded by his team, and savaged on social media by boxing fans, some of whom assumed it was an act of cowardice.
Thomas Hauser, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and journalist, tracked down Harper and asked him to explain his actions, then joined us on this week’s Ringside Boxing Show to share what he found out.
Hauser also shares an interesting prediction about Harper’s boxing future in the wake of the incident.
Before our interview with Hauser, expert analysts Rizwaan Zahid and John J. Raspanti weigh in on Ryan Garcia’s level of progress at age 20 (is he really ready for Gervonta Davis, the fighter he repeatedly calls out?), Barry Hearn’s flabbergasting opinion that Wilder-Joshua should marinate for two more years, HBO’s boxing future after hinting that Kovalev-Alvarez II might be too expensive for them to televise, Derevyanchenko’s chances of beating Daniel Jacobs, Terry Flanagan’s showdown with Regis Prograis, whether Garcia-Porter will live up to its hype, and the Maryland Boxing Commission’s amazing decision to lift its suspension of Leon Lawson, trainer (and uncle) of the Dirrell brothers, who has been banned since he punched Jose Uzcategui in the face after a Showtime fight a year ago.
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Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor-publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of “Intimate Warfare:
Listen to “Ringside Boxing Show: Guest Thomas Hauser on Curtis Harper incident and much more” on Spreaker.