BN Verdict: Haney, Garcia, and a man on fire in New York

By Elliot Worsell

ON Friday (April 19), at 1.35 pm in Manhattan, New York, CNN Anchor and Chief Legal Analyst Laura Coates was presented with the unenviable task of describing to her audience the sight of a man self-immolating in front of Collect Pond Park. As flames roared just metres from where Coates stood, the reporter, in a state of shock, somehow managed to remain calm and deliver a blow-by-blow account with an eerie composure; so much so, in fact, that some took umbrage with her style, suggesting she made it sound more like a sporting event than a tragedy.

“Outside the park,” Coates said, “we have a man who has set fire to himself… A man has emblazoned himself outside of the courthouse just now… Our cameras are turning right now… A man has now lit himself on fire outside the courthouse in Manhattan, where we are waiting for history to be made. We are watching a man fully emblazoned in front of the courthouse today, we are watching multiple fires breaking out around his body, and we have seen an arm that has been visible that is engulfed in total flames… There is chaos, people are wondering right now if people are in danger… I’m looking across the courtyard, there is a man racing to his aid, there are clothes coming off to put out the fire, we have members of security, NYPD is rushing to the scene, officers are on the scene, a fire extinguisher is right now present and being put on this man to try and put it out, people are climbing over the barricades to try to separate the public and put out the flame on this man… He has lit himself on fire in front of the courthouse right now and we are watching and can smell the air… I can smell the burning of some sort of flesh… I can smell the burning of some sort of agent being used as an accelerant to put out the fire… I smell an actual fire extinguisher… I see a person whose body appears to be on the ground being surrounded by officers… the fire is still burning…”

That same afternoon, across the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, Ryan Garcia happened to be weighing in ahead of his WBC super-lightweight title fight against Devin Haney. He came in heavy, as many had expected, and proceeded to sink a beer, or at least offer that illusion, when standing on the scales at the ceremonial weigh-in later that day.

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