This article began with a simple purpose: several people pointed out to me that it was Dan O’Connor who Joey Abell was protecting during the group tussle in the ring on Friday night, and not Ron Lyke. It seemed proper to get a clarification, so I called Abell to see what he had to say. Abell was as gracious and friendly as usual, and answered a few more questions at the same time.
Fistic Mystic: Some people have told me that my initial report was wrong, and one of them in particular thought it was very important for me to clear this up! Who was it that was underneath you, who you were protecting?
Joey Abell: Yeah, that was Dan O’Connor. I was just trying to keep people off of him, so he wouldn’t get hurt.
FM: Keep him from getting squished?
JA: Yeah, that’s right.
FM: Okay. Now having fought Raphael once, for a round anyway, would you fight him again?
JA: I would fight him again, any time. Especially after that, that one round.
FM: He did hit you with at least one good shot. Did it bother you? It looked like you shrugged it off…
JA: I didn’t really even notice it or acknowledge it. Some people did tell me afterwards that I’d been hit pretty hard, but I don’t know.
FM: The fight was originally called a disqualification before it was changed to a no-contest. How did you feel about…
JA: I felt the same way – it happened to me once before, in South Dakota, when I hit a guy who had one knee down…
FM: I was at that fight
JA: Yeah, and this was kind of the same thing. It probably looked bad to half of the people who saw it. But to the people who had my view it was legitimate. This was the same. Half of the people didn’t hear the bell.
FM: Did you get paid? Was there any talk of withholding any of your purse money?
JA: I don’t know, I left early and I don’t exactly know. But I know that there was some kind of issue going on there. There was talk, but I’m not sure whether it had anything to do with the result of the fight.
FM: I’ve heard that some people are saying you weren’t fully in the neutral corner following the knockdown. Were you?
JA: You know, when you knock someone down you’re pretty eager to go again. I didn’t want to lose that advantage or that opportunity…but I got yelled at, so I took a step backwards, farther back than I would have been. Yeah, I was in the neutral corner.
FM: How soon would you fight again?
FM: Do you have any plans?
JA: Ah, no, I haven’t had my meeting yet. We usually have a meeting after each fight to see what’s on the agenda.
The Fistic Mystic says: I was wrong! When Joey Abell arched his body over a gray-haired man in a satin jacket, that was Dan O’Connor, not the similarly attired Ron Lyke.