Boxing for Dollars
If my calendar is correct, it’s the 21st century. As a kid, reading Popular Science magazine & novels by Arthur C. Clarke, I had big hopes. The 21st Century was really going to be something. Oh, it definitely looks like something, as Dave Letterman would say. Same old stupid human tricks: war, hunger, race problems, bad sitcoms. . ..
Nothing says 21st Century though, like the fact boxing still exists. In fact, in the late 20th, they went one better, meaning worse, with serious women fighters. It had its roots a few decades earlier with Roller Derby. Then the height ( though not the goal ) of the Feminist movement was achieved: Foxy Boxing. This was two women, a few hours past their prime bimbo years expiration date, duking it out. With huge gloves!
Who was the audience for this wonderful display? Men who were too afraid or too spiritual to go to a strip club? Or men who couldn’t afford the high ticket prices of real manly prize fights? I’m guessing it was sexually repressed men, plus guys who subconsciously (or not so subconsciously) wanted to kick their wives asses.
There is no doubt the sport of pugilism done well, takes skill & endurance. Also good writing & perserverance. Once upon a time, I was waiting to see a band named Valentine perform at a small club in Princeton, N.J. It was getting close to show time and the band wasn’t anywhere in sight. Apparently they had been in Philadelphia ( not far off at 45 miles away ) performing a song for an upcoming movie the lead singer’s brother was filming. When I asked and subsequently learned it was a boxing movie, I said quite sincerely, boxing movies never make money. That movie was of course the first Rocky. The last Rocky flick was just released on disc and opened up with that same song Valentine did 30 years ago. Hey! what do I know.
While Rocky is about real boxing, it ain’t real boxing. I’d also like to state here, you have, whoever it was gave me the heads up that Frank Stallone boxed Golden Gloves, to thank for these blogs. Frank started dating my old gf and it had crossed my mind to suggest he stop. I can still imagine how hard he’d have hit me. BTW back then media people thought Frank was a joke. I can tell you he was a really good singer & not a bad guy either. Being the brother of a big time guy is win-lose. Just ask Johnny Drama. Or Jeb Bush. . ..
So, boxing. The ‘ Sweet Science ‘ ha ha ha, who thought that one up? I think it was Madame Curie. Did somebody hold the copyright for ” Man Beating? ” Those who’d stop thinking about punching my face in, long enough to tell you, will say boxing is a way for low income individuals to rise above their situation. Well, yes it is. For those who succeed. Mostly, it’s a way to pound other guys and/or get pounded. Get some good brain damage too. Ever heard of punch drunk? it didn’t come from drinking spiked fruit concoctions. Not every prize fighter is Muhammed Ali. Or even Mike Tyson. None of them are sympathetic icons like Rocco Balboa.
Ali is truly a special case. When he embraced Islam, it was during the Viet Nam war. He refused to be drafted into military service because he was Muslim and killing was not allowed( Nam was not on the jihadi to do list ). He had to give up his boxing career ( for awhile anyway ). As soon as the smoke cleared, he resumed man beating, which is apparantly cool with Allah. I guess because boxers wear gloves. When the gloves come off, look out! The irony is, if they made Ali wear boxing gloves while using a rifle, he likely wouldn’t have been able to kill anyone. The result would have landed him back home in a box.
This is not an exegesis on fisticuffs; I’m too lazy for that level of committment. I just want to say that it’s simply sad boxing exists. Economics can be thrown into the mix all you want. It’s really not thriving as a sport now. As a meaningful alternative to street violence, focusing that energy in the gym, is a valid point. For all that, it’s still lamentable. Yet another case of humans, snailing our way up the evolutionary trail to enlightenment. Oh, I am sure on his days off Mohandas Gandhi got comped for as many Joe Louis fights as he could. There’s probably a great story in boxing circles about Mother Theresa causing a scene at the Rumble in the Jungle when they told her she had to wear shoes to get in. Probably.
Boxing is beating people up for money. Or fun. It attracts gamblers & Hollywood types. But if you like it, you’re a dummy. Internationally, people trumpet the fact soccer or European football is the world’s most popular sport. They use it to point out how lame Americans are to not like it so much. Occasionally we get one right. This admittedly original version of football, started with the heads of the losers being punted all over the village by some bad men who showed up after breakfast, killed them, raped their women & ate a few children. BTW for those who don’t read, slaves were made of select survivors. Most of whom were not black in Europe circa 450 AD. Nobody mention Apocalypto. Oh, all right. That’s the heart swallowing, if not heartwarming story of jai lai. It’s really popular in South America. along with said version of football. Anybody who thinks they know why, raise your hand. Death is still a popular part of the halftime show of there too. OK, so they can’t afford Janet Jackson.
Am I suggesting only primitive people enjoy boxing & non-American football? Never! there was a college professor once who like boxing. Of course Frank Stallone stole his girlfriend and, now, you know the rest of the story. In a strange twist of Fate, the brain damage the prof got created an obsession with boxing. But how often does that really happen? Let’s get ready to Rummmmmmmmmmmmmmbulllllllllllllllllllll