TONIGHT in Hannover, two Irishmen will box in a half-empty hall, one with a German allegiance, the other tied to Kazakhstan.
The lightweight bout of David Oliver Joyce and Eric Donovan (pictured right) captures the sheer oddity of the World Series of Boxing, a league in which amateur boxers get paid without violating that 'amateur' status.
This is part of the Amateur International Boxing Association's efforts to exert more control in a sport where, historically, the best talents invariably turn professional. They also plan to remove head-guards from senior men's bouts and return to the discredited scoring system that facilitated Roy Jones' outrageous defeat at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
Apparently, it's called progress.