Sunday, June 2, 2013

Return to Boxing by Way of Froch v. Kessler - Super Middleweight

I took a break from boxing. Not cold turkey (that would be impossible), but a break from allowing it to rule my life. Whenever I've watched a fight in recent months, I realize how much I miss it. I'm overjoyed to an almost overwhelming point.

I tried to get back into it by starting to watch Friday Night Fights again. I went to the Lazy Dog. It's a huge restaurant with a huge bar area and multiple big screens. I asked the bartender if I could get a channel change to ESPN 2. As usual, the bartender asked me what was on. This (almost*) ALWAYS happens to me. I fear it's because I'm a female. I always want to reply "Cheer nationals" and see what happens. Who gives a fuck what's on?! It's a bar with big screens. That means sports. ESPN 2 is a sports network. Shut the fuck up and change the channel. I'm also really disappointed that bars, even sports bars don't automatically put it on ESPN 2 on Friday nights and that the management and bartenders don't know that there's boxing on television on Fridays. That's just un-American.

I tell the bartender "Friday Night Fights".  He has to ask his manager. So I wait. And I wait. After 10 minutes I ask him if he's actually asked the manager. He says yes. 10 minutes later he comes back and says the manager said they can't put on boxing because it's a family restaurant. It's almost 8 pm on a Friday night. I don't see anyone under the age of 21 in the entire restaurant. And I'm in the bar area. Boxing isn't suitable for viewing in a family restaurant? I'm pretty sure they show hockey and football, which are also violent sports. Boxing is an Olympic sport and once upon a time it was one of the big three (boxing, horse racing, baseball - I miss you Bert Sugar!).

I now consider the Lazy Dog an anti-American organization. Don't go there. Don't give them your money.

So, I leave the Lazy Dog and head into the dark night, unfamiliar with my surroundings as I'm still new to the area. My phone tells me there's a bar in a strip mall a mile away. The Shady Nook. It was both. It was a bit of a scary crowd for a woman alone, but I pressed on. I sat down and asked the FEMALE bartender for a channel change to ESPN 2. SHE DIDN'T ASK ME WHAT WAS ON. *This is the first time that's ever happened to me. It was a great fight night and I started contemplating letting boxing take over my life again. However, it's a difficult sport to follow. I don't have cable. I haven't found a bar to watch Friday Night Fights. I don't know anyone near me with HBO or Showtime. I miss McCann's in Astoria so much. Best bar to watch any fight. HBO is right. Boxing isn't a sport. It's a way of life.

But oh my stars Froch-Kessler may have pushed me to be really aggressive with my performance review at work to better my chances of a big raise so that I could get cable. What a spectacular fight! Both excellent technical fighters, but with the ability and willingness to brawl. Froch looks great physically. He's filled out and he was able to take Kessler's punches better. Kessler, who's been a favorite of mine since I watched him work Librado Andrade like he was a hanging side of beef. He's lost a step, but he can still throw bombs and he's very active in the ring.

Digression: I drove up to Oakland to watch Kessler fight Ward in 2009. I had to leave for the trip right after a morning practice. I was still in my sports bra and didn't have a chance to shower before attending the event. Talk about a place a woman shouldn't travel alone. I was happy to have the extra funk as protection. I felt safe in the Oracle Arena, but I had to park far and it was a long walk in the dark. Kessler lost, but I was so excited that he was fighting stateside. I still regret not seeing Naseem Hamed when he fought in Vegas. I had traveled alone and done some other activities alone a bit, but I wasn't at a place where I felt comfortable going to Vegas alone.

I wholeheartedly agree with Froch about a fight with Ward - a good fighter, but not entertaining (fight-wise or personality-wise). Personality is important, not just in sports or entertainment. If you're a cubicle dweller at American, Inc., you still need to have some sort of engaging personality to succeed. I would welcome Froch-Kessler III. Maybe I'll be able to afford to watch it in the comfort of my own home by then. Keep your fingers crossed for my performance review!


  1. I think Vegas is fine to be alone at, especially with the crowds that a fight would bring in. When I was there it wasn't bad at all to walk around and take cabs by myself. Don't miss out on stuff cuz your going solo! Although maybe you can find a girl or two on Meetup that's also interested in boxing to go to bars with you?

    1. Oh, I'd go to Afghanistan alone at this point. This was back when I was 20 (many, many years ago). I'd rather do most things alone these days.