Lest anyone think Our Man Elli in Israel is a one-trick sportswriting muckraker, he’s already set to take new punches in a new arena. While new leads, developments and hate mail pour in, in the aftermath of last week's historic exposé of the first season foibles of the Israel Baseball League, Elli’s taking on all comers in a new story about the pugilistic wonders of the Holy Land.
Elli writes about two up-and-coming pugs who will duke it out with challengers Friday night at the Blue Horizon arena in Philadelphia (that’s a long way from the Western Wall). Junior welterweight Elad Shmouel is 17-1 with eight knockouts, and ranked 225 in the world out of 1,126 junior welterweights. Heavyweight Ran Nakash is 8-0 with five knockouts, and ranked 400 in a world of 1,101 heavyweights.
And this time around, if you think we’re going to piss off half the Jewish journalists in the world by posting the article first (see this week’s Hebrew hullabaloo here), you're meshuga. Go to Israel 21C here for the article. They’ll post it by Friday.
(Meanwhile, the initial hatred of Elli Wohlgelernter because of his audacity to criticize the IBL after its maiden season has mellowed into a grudging respect for his abilities and evenhandness. Our Man Elli’s credentials as a life-long sportswriter were cemented when he became the sports editor for the second edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, so you can't argue with that.)