About

Kevin Iole is an award-winning journalist who covers MMA and boxing for Yahoo Sports. Iole has been on staff at Yahoo Sports since 2007, where he has focused on the combat sports. He began writing about fighting while still in college at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, and the first major bout he covered at ringside was the WBC heavyweight title match between Larry Holmes and Renaldo Snipes on June 11, 1981. Iole has won numerous awards, including Sportswriter of the Year in Nevada and Vermont multiple times each from the National Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association. He was chosen Outstanding Journalist by the Nevada Press Association in 1999, becoming the first sportswriter to be so honored. In 2007, Iole was selected by past winners as the Nat Fleischer Award winner, given for career excellence in boxing journalism. A native of Pittsburgh, Iole resides in Las Vegas, NV, with his wife, Betsy, and their Basset Hounds. When not watching fights, Iole is an avid golfer and loves to attend NHL hockey games.

19 comments

  • Hi Kevin,
    Josh Gross here from Discovery Channel pr. Wanted to let you know that Kenny Florian is back calling all the action on a new season of BattleBots, which has moved to Discovery and premieres May 11. If you’d like to catch up with him to talk about the show, just let me know.
    Thanks!
    Josh

  • Dear Mr. Iole
    My name is Courton Loreno, I am a 3rd year law student at the University of North Dakota working on drafting mock federal legislation on boxing. My bill will be about improving boxer safety, both in terms of health and finances, as well as reducing corruption in the sport. I am writing to you because I am seeking expert opinions on the issue. I have read your Yahoo! articles and have found them to always give a thoughtful perspective on the sport and be honored to get your opinion on the topic. I am happy to work with your schedule to find a time that works best for you. I am flexible on dates, but I am shooting for having an interview done in October. The interview can be done however is workable for you, whether that be email, video conferencing, or something else. Thank you for your time.

    Courton Loreno
    J.D. Candidate of 2019
    University of North Dakota School of Law
    3601 University Ave., Apartment 164B
    Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202
    courton.loreno@und.edu

  • In your Cormier-Lewis article, did you really just call Jon Jones the greatest fighter ever? Are we talking about the same Jon Jones? You know, the one that got busted for PEDs…twice?

    Well, anyways, do you think you could send me the contact info for your editor? I’d like to file a complaint.

    • I take it you have not done any research on Jon Jones’ two PED busts. Did you read the independent arbiter’s decision that came after 10 months of investigation? I did. Maybe you should read that first.

  • Chuck from Vegas: Kevin is true this farce if a fight with Floyd Mayweather is back on?

    • He told TMZ that it is, but that it’s going to be a three-round exhibition with no kicks. So he’s going to box a guy 30 pounds later. Hard pass.

  • Hi Kevin! I’m a fan of your work and have reached out the last couple times I visited to Vegas to see if you wanted a playing partner for a round at @realpuregolf. Schedules haven’t worked out though. Headed back over there from Germany in a couple of weeks if you have the time. I’ll also be taking in my first VGK game with the family!

    Take care.
    Steve

  • Weather looks good this week. Let me know if there’s a day that works best.

  • I enjoyed reading your article of “Diego Magdaleno’s corner, referee fail boxer miserably amid vicious beatdown”. It highlighted the aspects of the referee’s failure to stop a fight. The plight made to protect a fighter should always be paramount. However, what about the ‘punchers chance’ of winning the fight ? In the past fighters have been robbed by referees stopping fights prematurely. There is no exact science as to exactly when a fight should be stopped, but rather an opinion. And that comes after the fighter experiences medical problems. Granted there are a times when the decision to stop a fight is a given. Boxing is a warriors sport, boxers know this when the sign on the dotted line, its that adrenaline rush from the desire to be the best at the Sweet Science. Since every person is different, how can one accurately predict the ‘what-ifs’ with boxing in determining to stop a fight ? For example, one fighter may coast when stunned by bobbing/weaving and clinching while others release a flurry of punches to gain distance from their opponent and then other clinch and throw rabbit punches. Some fighters act hurt to draw an opponent in to set them up too. I never want to see a fighter hurt, but at the same time I want to see a good fight. If referees start jumping the gun on stopping fights, fans and the fighters themselves will miss out on some of the greatest fights and in other cases the greatest comebacks.
    On another note, fighters were robbed of going 15 rounds by people who didn’t have the guts to get inside the ring themselves. It has really watered down the sport. Because, rounds 10-12 are not true championship rounds, the rounds 12-15 really are. These last three rounds test the fortitude of all that training. Even look at post fight interviews from then and now, fighters have not spent everything they have in the ring in today’s sport as just as far back as the 1990’s. If one follows boxing closely, it is apparent that fighters today would struggle mightily with fighters who fought for 5 rounds. Training is the same but the mentality is very different, fighters today if given the opportunity would cherish the opportunity to test their limits, but tragically they are robbed.
    It would be a true tragedy to the sport of boxing if it was turned into something like the NFL is nowadays. The game of football has so much taken away from the way the contact sport was meant to be played.
    Thank you for the opportunity to ask questions.

    • Ronald, I get your point, but the issue is this: The referee sees what is going on. He knows how hard the fighter is being hit and how often. So he has to make the decision to stop based on what he is seeing. If a fighter is bobbing and weaving or playing possum, the ref can see that. Last night, that wasn’t the case.

      Teofimo was hitting him clean and hard and Diego wasn’t able to stop them.

      Regarding giving a puncher’s chance, I think that phrase harkens back to a time when we didn’t know much about concussions and brain injuries. Now that we know what the impact of repeated clean punches to the head can be, we have to be cautious. No fight, no win, no title is worth being seriously injured.

      Now, that said, you need a ref who is experienced and understands what is at stake and what fighters may try to do during a fight. As long as the ref sees the losing fighter is defending himself smartly and limiting the high-impact blows, it’s his obligation to keep the fight going. But when the loser is taking hard, repeated clean blows, it’s time to stop it.

      Hope that helps.

  • Kevin, I hope you’re well. Wondering if I can send you a copy of Ken Regan’s collected photos – KNOCKOUT: The Art of Boxing, repackaged and reformatted from Insight Editions next month? Foreword by Ali, commentary by Mailer, and an afterword by Budd Schulberg. This is all set beside Regan’s boxing photography, some of the best in existence. Happy to speak more about the book via email.

    https://insighteditions.com/product/knockout-2/

  • Hi Kevin, just wondering if you have thoughts on the Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch official for UFC 241 in August?
    You’ve likely heard Ian’s story, or read it (https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/ian-heinisch-ufc). If you haven’t read his story, its a good one.
    I think Ian is a star in the making, and I think this next fight will showcase his talent. I also think when he wins this one, he’ll get a title shot for his next fight.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts Kevin.
    Thanks
    Carl Shannon – Bangs Falls, Queens County Nova Scotia

    • Hi Carl, I wrote a big piece on Ian for his last fight … Amazing stuff. I’m st UFC media day right now

      • Hi Kevin, thanks for the quick reply. I’m not sure how I missed that piece, but I just found it and will read it. Thanks!! I’d love to hear your thoughts on his next fight with Derek Brunson…

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