Boxeo! HBO carries the fights. Usually pretty good ones or at least they try. You never know; as they say style makes the fight and sometimes you get two guys whose styles seem to negate each other and all they do is shuffle around or paw at each other or heaven forbid spend the whole evening clenching each other and end up doing a bear waltz in the center of the ring for the whole fight. That’s no fun to watch.
And it’s not any fun either to watch a guy who is clearly overmatched but refuses to go down getting his head beat up over and over the whole 12 rounds. You think, Jesus Christ man, just fall down, OK. Nobody would blame you. Put yourself out of your misery. And ours, will ya. But some guys take a perverse pride in going the whole 12 rounds standing up even though they are getting their heads knocked off.
But last night HBO had a pretty good one between Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik for the undisputed middle weight championship of the world. Usualy, if the fight has potential they do back ground stuff on the fighters, so that they have a narrative to work during the fight and to get you to identify with the fighters in a more human way. It works too.
I mean how can you not root for a guy who was abandoned by both of his parents at the age of five so that he had to live on the streets till he found out where his mother was when he was ten years old and he had to walk half way across a continent to find his mother, who told him to get lost when he finally got there, and then perchance, he took up boxing—possibly because he had plenty to be pissed off about—and now here is he in Madison Square Garden fighting for a million bucks.
What a world.
Jermaine Taylor is from Little Rock, Arkansas. He had a real good chance to end up in bad trouble, but he met this guy who ran a gym. For his day time job, the guy was a brick layer. So the guy took Jermaine out to the job one day to show him what he did for a living—laying brick—and Jermaine decided hell he sure didn’t want to do that. So he decided to go into a line of work where he could get his head knocked off. Tells you something about brick laying I guess.
And the other guy was from Youngstown Ohio. Nuff said. I have actually been to Youngstown, Ohio, to a conference on working class studies. You don’t want to be from there. It is in the rust belt and the newest building I saw there was a huge state of the art prison that looked like some sort of weird-assed space ship that had landed in the middle of an empty and barren field.
!% of the US population is in prison. But I won’t go into that. But if you live in a part of the world where you have a good chance of being in that 1% or being a brick layer for the rest of your life. Maybe you go into the boxing game.
But this was a good one. Both were undefeated, both were bangers. Pavlick went down early in the second, all wobbly kneed and jelly legged, but was well schooled and hung up and covered up and threw an occasional punch to let the ref know he was not out on his feet and to make Taylor think, hey, he might still be dangerous.
So there was that added drama and it was over in 7.