Monday, May 3, 2010

Suburbs of Our Discontent

Fight! Fight! Fight! Mayweather vs. Mosley is a Big Bust

On Saturday night, I experienced my first professional fight: Shane "Sugar" Mosley vs. Floyd “Money” Mayweather on Pay-Per-View. Here’s the coolest part of it: I watched it with a friend who used to be a real-life professional boxer. A former welter weight champion in the flesh.

To prep for the fight, I did a little research on the web. The information was downright overwhelming: fight stats, betting odds, extensive discussions of Mayweather’s obsession with blood and urine, videos of “Money” flashing thick stacks of green in a casino. I couldn’t process it all.

But I was psyched about the fight nonetheless, especially the hitting part. Was it weird that I found this intriguing and exciting? No, I told myself, it’s not. I thought about how Queen Elizabeth was a fan of bear-baiting, the sport where people paid to see dogs harass a chained-up bear. She even enlisted her own dogs in private bear-baiting “performances.”

Listen to this bystander’s sensual description of the bear-baiting entertainment at a bash for Elizabeth in 1575:

“Therefore thus with fending and fearing, with plucking and tugging, scratching and biting, by plain tooth and nail to [the one] side and tother, such expense of blood and leather was there between them, as a month's licking, I ween, will not recover.”

Oooh! See? It’s definitely possible for classy ladies like myself to enjoy a good fight. Even better that it’s a consensual fight with thinking humans, instead of animals who have no say in the matter. If Queen Elizabeth was alive, she most definitely would have been sitting next to Mariah Carey, who was all classy in her dewy-skinned, plunging neckline kind of way.

Imagine my surprise when my ex-professional fighter friend did not seem to share my bloodlust. When the fight started, I asked what I thought was a good question:

“Could one of them die? Like in Million Dollar Baby?”

“Unlikely,” he said, after a pause. Then he turned to the other guests and started commenting on all this stuff like technique and strategy. A few minutes later, I tried again:

“Do the refs ever die?”

He took a long draw from his beer and scrunched up his face: “The refs don’t die.”

I decided not to ask my ear bite question.

That night I learned that boxing is all about skills and strategy, not just voyeurism and bloodshed. Apparently that’s why Floyd Mayweather won: he’s got really good skills or something.

I’m disappointed, but that’s OK. Next time I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a knockout.

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