Jeanette Zacarias Zapata
Mexican female professional boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata died on Thursday in Montreal from injuries sustained in a match last Saturday. Zapata, who was just 18, had taken several hard punches in the fourth round of her bout against Marie Pier Houle. She was unable to walk back to her corner at the end of the round and began to convulse before being transported to Sacré-Coeur-de-Montréal hospital where she was placed in a medically-induced coma.

According to historian Joseph Svinth, who maintains the world's most comprehensive database of boxing fatalities dating back to the 18th century, this is just the second known incident of a woman dying as the result of injuries sustained in a professional boxing match. Phindile Mwelase died following a pro match in South Africa in 2014. In 2005 in Colorado Becky Zerlentes became the first woman to die as the result of a sanctioned amateur match. There had been deaths in unsanctioned bouts prior to this. Female fatalities in boxing have been much rarer than male deaths in part because of the shorter duration and lesser number of rounds but also because, until recent years, there have been far fewer female boxing matches than men's matches.

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
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Apologies in advance for the title if it gives impressions that this is going to be all that poetic. It's not this presentation that is all that literary, but something else. Haikus and pentameter aside, MMA has moments that are nothing less than poetic on a pretty astral level. Not long ago, irony at the nauseating level (unless you are a psychopath) happened when former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman broke his leg on Uriah Hall's leg in an eerily similar way as the other former champ Anderson Silva did on Chris's in their title rematch. If you know anything at all about MMA and did not know this story, you have to have been living under a rock. Save your energy and do not go look at pictures of either event as it is nightmare material.
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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Have you ever watched a film that was just so amazing that when the sequel came out, your mind started developing great expectations and that it would be a pip, which has nothing to do with a Charles Dicken's novel, yet a movie that could be a real humdinger?

In 2017, one of the most engaging and exciting elements of the Sammo Hung and Vincent Zhao starring God of War is that it was a remake of Jimmy Wang Yu's classic kung fu flick Beach of the War Gods (BWG; 1973). This gave me the perfect opportunity to see how a film on the same subject was handled by two Chinese filmmaking eras 44 years apart and how the fight choreography was used to tell the hero's story.

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