This month we’re going to shine the light on John McKaie. Judge, one time Boxer, father, self professed bureaucrat, runner… and a total romantic. Read on….
Jill: How did your involvement in boxing come about?
John: In July of 1966 the replay of the first Emile Griffith vs. Joey Archer bout was being aired on TV from the night before. I was 12 years old with nothing to do and my brother, 19 at the time, was watching the bout. I was intrigued and became immersed in the event and all of the drama involved. After my brother told me about the Paret tragedy and how Emile was affected by it, Griffith became my favorite boxer. I bought my first boxing magazine the next day.
Jill: If you could change anything about the sport, what would it be?
John: Better cooperation and coordination between the sanctioning bodies and the various commissions.
John: How does your family feel about your “side line”?
John: Bored to death (smile).
Jill: Who inspired you?
John: In life, Dr. Martin Luther King. His noble obsession regarding equality, fairness and “doing the right thing” made a lasting impact on me from an early age that I’ve carried with me through life and even into boxing officiating. Inspirations for boxing judging include Melvina Lathan, Joe Dwyer, and Tom Kaczmarek.
Jill: A match you’d love to judge?
John: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Jill: Why do you stay involved in this sport?
John: It’s in my blood and has been for over 4 1/2 decades.
Jill: Any interesting stories to share?
John: From the time of my last amateur bout (I was a semi-finalist and 2 time quarter finalist in the NY Golden Gloves) when I was 18 until I attended a Halloween party in my late forties, I never wore my boxing robe (hooded green and white valor) and shoes outside of the house. At that party I met my wife to be – it took a very long time, but that robe brought me ultimate victory. (I hope she reads this!)
Jill: Do you think the sport should be regulated by the federal government?
John: Regulation won’t work for a lot of reasons; chief amongst them is that it’s an international sport! However, I can see the Feds serving in some coordinating capacity, especially where it relates to safety standards.
Jill: How do you feel about woman’s boxing? Any favorites, if so?
John: Boxing is boxing, no matter the sexes involved. I judged the first woman’s bout in NY Golden Glove history in the mid 1990’s, and when the first bell rung I never thought about the sex of the boxers.
Jill: Who are your favorite women boxers?
John: Lucia Rijker and Ann Wolfe are two of my favorites.
Jill: The most exciting fight you’ve judged? You’ve seen?
John: For overall excitement in a bout that I judged, probably Cotto vs. Judah. For one round of a bout I judged, it was the first of the recent Angulo vs.Kirkland bout. The most exciting bout I ever saw was probably the first Corrales vs. Castillo fight.
Jill: Any special awards or honors you’d like to talk about?
John: Only that I have a BA and MA in political science which I attribute obtaining through the discipline I obtained from boxing.
Jill: Can you tell us a little about yourself outside the ring?
John: I am married and have two children (daughter is 18 and son is 27) from a previous marriage. I’ve worked for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for over 27 years and currently serve as the Director of Contract Registration. I am the consummate bureaucrat (the boxing provides my excitement!). I was a fairly decent competitive long distance runner after my boxing days and still try to stay in shape.
Jill: What would you do to make the sport come back to it’s glory days?
John: Times are different so a return to the days you refer to isn’t likely to happen. However, I think by gaining more exposure in the mass media and including some “feel good” stories about the sport and its participants will bring in new fans. I also think that some of the media currently covering the sport should refrain some of the overly negative commentary regarding the officiating and other elements of the sport. Judging is somewhat subjective and should be referred to more in that light by some in the media rather than making it appear that incompetency or worse is behind some of the scoring. I firmly believe this “turns off” the casual or “would-be” fan and the sport suffers because of it.