Lem's Corner Notebook
By Lem Sattefield
LYNCH AND ALDAY ON TWO PATHS TO BOXING STARDOM
Brandyn Lynch and Joey Alday are two amateur boxers on the path to stardom. They will get an opportunity to showcase their talents when they warm up the audience in a four-round bout before Shawn Porter takes on Lanardo Tyner in an exhibition at the Porter Hy-Performance Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The 12-round welterweight exhibition will be streamed live on PBC’s Facebook page beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The Lynch-Alday match will not be part of the live stream, but those in attendance will get to see them go at it.
Lynch, the nephew of actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, appears to have a leg up on the stardom path. But Alday, who is from Odessa, Texas, is taking a more proven route. He is a three-time national amateur champion and is currently one of the top-rated U.S. amateurs at 152 pounds. He missed out on being a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic boxing team when he came up short in the challenger’s bracket last December.
Alday has been training at The Plex Gym in Houston, Texas, where veteran cornerman Ronnie Shields works with IBF middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. He plans on turning pro in the next couple months.
“Joey looks like a pretty good fighter,” said Shields. “He looks like he knows his way around the ring.”
Alday isn’t going to be star struck when he faces Lynch. Instead he wants to make Lynch see stars.
“All of my friends think it’s crazy and they’re tripping out, like, ‘Are you going to put the hurt on him?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, if I have to,’” Alday said. “Some of them wanted me to take pictures, but I’m not going to lose my focus just because somebody’s related to a celebrity.”
Lynch sat next to his uncle Eddie at STAPLES Center for the Danny Garcia-Robert Guerrero fight in January when Murphy introduced him to the television audience.
“This is my nephew, Brandyn ‘Bad News’ Lynch,” said Murphy to a reporter as he pointed to Lynch seated next to him.
Lynch is the son of Murphy’s brother, Vernon, who will manage Brandyn when he turns pro later in the year. Lynch, who has a 6-1 amateur record, is getting a late start in boxing. He recently graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in public relations and advertising.
Lynch knows he has something to prove in pro boxing. He has spent the last two months training and sparring (40 rounds) with Porter in Las Vegas.
“I’m Vernon Lynch’s son, first. He’s my coach, my manager and my trainer, but I am also Eddie Murphy’s nephew, and there are expectations that come along with that. A lot of people who think that the funny guy’s nephew can’t do this,” Lynch said.
“They’re like, ‘He doesn’t come from a super-tough background so why would he want to do this? Everybody who has doubted and then seen me in the ring has been proven wrong. I put a lot of work and time and effort into my craft. I’m here to continue to prove those people absolutely wrong.”
Lynch’s father, Vernon, said boxing is in their blood.
“My dad, Vernon Sr., was a professional boxer who had a gym back in the day,” Vernon, Jr. said. “I boxed as an amateur and I’m a martial artist with several black belts in difference disciplines. My son is a martial artist who expressed interest in boxing. I pulled out my Dad’s archives and showed them to him (Brandyn). I said, ‘This is part of your legacy and why you want to fight. It’s in your blood’.
“Brandon’s grown up around his uncle and the rest of his nephews and nieces. We’re a close knit family and a boxing family.”
BOXING EXHIBITION MEETS THE INTERNET AGE
The type of boxing exhibition that Shawn Porter will engage in against Lanardo Tyner on Saturday in Las Vegas is almost unheard of in this Internet Age, according to Steve Farhood, SHOWTIME analyst and boxing historian.
"This is definitely unusual. It's even more unusual to make it open to the public to watch, which they're doing by streaming it,’’ Farhood said. “The point of doing these types of things in the past is to simulate real fight conditions but to keep it closed from the press, for the most part. This is unusual in that it will be seen by so many people. It has been done many times where there has been professional judges and have brought in referees under real fight circumstances, but never played up like this, that I know of."
Boxing exhibitions were very common at the turn of the 20th Century. It was one way that boxers and promoters were able to skirt the rules that prohibited professional boxing in some states. Heavyweights Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey fought a number of exhibitions. They usually occurred with professional (paid) referees and admission was charged.
Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard have fought in exhibitions primarily for charity. When Leonard was recovering from an eye injury just before he fought Marvin Hagler he was on vacation on the passenger ship QE2 and he fought an amateur boxer named Steve Sinclair in a five round exhibition. He dropped Sinclair with a body shot after Sinclair got a little too frisky and tried to nail Leonard in his surgically repaired eye.
There hasn’t been that many boxing exhibitions conducted in the 21st Century. In 2006 Mike Tyson announced that he was going to do a series of exhibitions in a world tour. The first one was against his former sparring partner, Corrie Sanders, in Youngstown, Ohio that turned out to be more farce than exhibition. That was the end of the world tour.
Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. fought an exhibition against Vicente Sagrestano in Mexico to collect toys for disadvantaged children in 2014. The next year he faced Mario Martinez, whom he had beaten in his first world championship match in 1984, in an exhibition to benefit Chavez’s two drug rehabilitation clinics in Mexico.