It's become a bit of a tradition here for me to end the year with an open letter on this site, partially as a thank you, partially as an attempt to hint where we want to be and a bit of a site update. As well as a partial apology for the fact I'm quite obviously a pain in the ass a lot of the time!
This year has been a really, really, tough year for everyone. There's no denying it, 2020 is unlike any year I've lived through. And one of the things I want to say is a general thanks for the understanding you've all shown, at least to me, in regards to political leanings, ramblings, and the current events. Whether you think Trump was robbed, or the whole 2020 "global issue" was a hoax really doesn't matter, at no point have I fallen out with anyone of you over it, so thank you for that. We will disagree, and we will disagree about a lot about some things, but disagreement is allowed, a difference of opinion is always allowed, and those opinions are the wonderful spice of life, and there's no reason to let spice cause us to fall out! (That sounded better in my head okay!)
One thing I've mentioned in the past in these letters is growth based on the past. Sadly this year did not go as projected there. We had hoped for pretty notable growth, which we had seen the previous 2 years and that didn't happened. Though we suspect you can all understand why. Surprisingly we have, almost, gotten on par with how we ended 2019, which was a big surprise to me, but from April to October we were getting a fraction of what we got last year.
Thankfully in all the crap of 2020 we did manage to try a number of new things, and I feel they had somewhat mixed success. We have added quite a few regular things to the site, such as the English Language Commentary version of fights, the mid-week facts series, The 5 Most Significant Wins, the Revisiting series and the Five Take Aways. We also spent several weeks putting up older posters from, something we'll be looking to continue in 2021. Also the Newsletter we do has had a month by month increase in people getting it, which is great, and I hope you're all enjoying it.
It's also been interesting to begin witnessing the actual effects we're having on Japanese boxing in particular, albeit in an indirect manner. In 2020 we've had promoters requesting uploads of their fighters, sponsors thanking us for bringing attention to their fighters with English Language videos, and even fighters themselves coming to us asking for us to share things. This has genuinely been a bit humbling, and not something I thought we'd ever see.
Likewise I dare say it's been incredibly amazing to see just how many people decided to go the Isakura route to end the year! That was... that was really staggering, hopefully some of you were impressed enough to go to the service next time there's a big, live, televised Japanese fight that you want to watch! It is a genuinely fantastic service and I hope you all managed to enjoy using it as much as I do.
Fingers crossed 2021 will be a better year. Life might not get back to normal in January or February. We might still not be allowed to travel freely around the globe in March or April, we might not be able to see our loved ones in June or July, or whatever. But things will get back to normal. Things will get better. Sooner or later.
Thank you's for 2020 (if you've been forgotten please yell at me on twitter as there's no doubt I've missed so many off this list)
Ian Bautista Melodillar
Rene Bonsubre Jr
Kyle McLachlan boxing
Anyone who has shared anything we've done, liked anything we've done, retweeted anything, sent me anuthing who have suggested that people follow us on twitter and those who have been willing to put up with my regular rants about commentators, judges and promoters. I hope your patience doesn't feel like it's been wasted!
Also thanks to Matthew Montero, and Zack from The Unofficial Scorecard Podcast for having me on your shows this year, and to Corey Erdman for the various times I've been able to help with your work this year!
Finally a big thanks to Oriana Wallace Johnson who has managed to put up with me being pretty MIA through December...
Anyway, that's almost enough rambling from me!
By the time this goes live I'll be watching Sasuke on Isakura and drinking rum! So to you all, have a great new year!
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features