Fight Night and the Thungs

I decided not to go out. My brother was asking me to go watch the fight at Good Times. Good Times is a strange place. They allow children of all ages at all hours of the night. It’s essentially a club. It’s really loud they show the big pay-per-views which you can watch for the cover charge. They serve alcohol. You can play pool or the kids (or you if you're so inclined) can play one of the hundreds of arcade games. If you're anything like me you'll have ten drinks and spend the night playing classic Street Fighter. Yeah, and drop a hundred bucks. I figure I'll stay home watch the fight on PPV order a pizza and save fifty bucks.

Fifty Bucks! WTF! I was expecting thirty-five maybe forty. Okay, I'm committed to this now. This isn't Ultimate Fighting. This is Boxing the secret pleasure of millions of PC folks who claim otherwise. I heard later that 410,000 other suckers did the same. Okay, I guess they're giving the back story for the folks who didn't bother with the first fight. Hopkins fought his fight for the first several rounds. His is a defensive style. Taylor tries to look active like the fight is all his. It’s a strategy that has worked before it’s only a shame that judges are so easily fooled. Hopkins kicked his ass the last few rounds. Maybe he had a feeling. Maybe he was just turning it up. Taylor claims he had the fight won early. Fight fans figure this is bullshit. You don't take a beating because you've already won. I settle in and start flipping between the fight commercials and a repeat of Entourage. It’s a good episode, the one where Johnny fights Chris Penn in a futile attempt to pay for fake calves.

Then Erica called. We haven't been hanging out so much lately. She's gonna go to a show with the girls and then drop by at midnight. Maybe we'll have a few beers. Okay I figure, that'll work. Turns out Sunday is her birthday so at midnight she turns twenty-two. Whatever. Maybe she'll bring a few people back to have a late drink with us? Okay. No big deal. Maybe you'll go get some beers for us? Uh, the fight starts pretty’s already 8:15 and the half hour of commercials for the fight I've already dropped fifty bucks on is about to end. Why do they do that anyway? I obviously plan to watch it.

She wins. I jump in the shower and jump out. I get dressed and run to the liquor store. Maybe I'll get back before the first fight starts. But it is Saturday night. There is a line from the front to the back of Libby's Liquors. I eye the place across the street. I hate that place. It’s bigger but it’s loaded with Budweiser and Miller High Life. The hell with it I'm already here. I grab a few cases of the Sam Adams Holiday Variety Pack. We can drink and I expect a few of her friends. Another forty bucks dropped. I step outside and I'm already juggling the four cases. I just know I'm gonna drop one. A cab stops right in front of me. I toss the cases in and tell the guy to take me the three blocks to my house and I'll give him ten bucks. He agrees and regales me with tales of taxi driving. I give him ten bucks and drag the four cases upstairs as fast as my fat ass allows.

I throw the beer in the freezer and flop down on the couch with a Cranberry Lambic. The Ike Quartey vs Carlos Bojorquez fight is in progress. I'm not sure what round it is but blood is streaming down the face of Bojorquez. His white shorts have become pink. The bell rings and they head to their corners. The cameramen move in on the Bojorquez corner. Carlos is telling his corner that he's okay even as they try to repair the giant gashes in his face. "Go for broke!" "Take a chance!" they shout at him. I start thinking he already had. It starts again but it doesn't take long for Joe Cortez to stop the fight. I guess I've missed the best part of this fight and the announcers piece it together for me. Bojorquez came out strong in the first round but that was about it for him. The rest of the fight was Quartey ruining the face of Bojorquez with jabs.

Hopkins and Taylor arrive at the arena. Both fighters have their entourages in full effect. Hopkins is a mean looking dude. Despite being forty he carries off the hip-hop look with ease. He's got the cool logo t-shirt and his I-Pod with the bumpin' tunes. Is Hopkins a dirty fighter? Or just a baby? They cut to the clip of Taylor and the tape recorder and baby doll. If you watch Sportscenter you've seen it a dozen times already. Unless you're like me and ESPN is your default channel then you've seen it hundreds of times. "...I could've knocked him out but I didn't wanna destroy the future of boxing..." "...Bouie Fisher left on his own..." I start thinking that Hopkins is making shit up.

Oscar Lario and Israel Vazquez are about to fight. Lario had trouble losing weight so his title has been vacated. We think. The announcers are arguing about it. Vazquez can't lose his title even in a loss. How exactly does a grown man balloon to 130lbs? Maybe by eating Iguanas? Apparently Lario likes to hunt and eat Iguanas. I guess that sounds tough. It could be just nasty. Vazquez and his wife own and operate a hair salon. That is definitely a girly past-time. Lario makes his way to the ring with a grimace on his face. He's pounding his fists together. He looks ready. Vazquez is smiling and looking at celebrities. They come out punching. Lario is on his knees in seconds. Erica calls. Its amateur night and the comedians aren't very funny. I thought she was going to see the Thungs. Lario tries to move in and throws punches but steps back when Vazquez looks ready to trade. Vazquez is looking for an opening but can't really sustain anything. The second round is over. She might leave early because she isn't having fun. I'm barely paying attention but I've gotta get her off the phone without pissing her off. The third round starts Vazquez hits Lario and his face explodes in blood. Blood is streaming down the face of the still standing Lario. I describe it to Erica and she hangs up. The second fight is over. The hype machine gets fired up and they start showing the same lame clips...again...of Hopkins and Taylor verbally jousting. Sylvester Stallone is suddenly on the screen. He is wearing boxing robes and gear. I start laughing. Then they announce that Stallone is filming crowd scenes for Rocky VI. Damn. Isn't he like sixty-something? The crowd is loving it. I guess Rocky is coming out of retirement to fight Antonio Tarver. Wow. This is blowing my mind. I thought they canned this project years ago when they saw the lousy Rocky V. Thinking about it entertains me thru the rest of the Hopkins/Taylor clips.

Ah. Time for the money fight to begin. R.Kelly is singing the National Anthem. I hate R.Kelly. He didn't piss on any children or hide in any closets. He did try to get the crowd to clap to his crooning hip-hop style rendition of the anthem. The crowd boo'd so I guess its all cool. Hopkins is wearing an executioner mask and is draped in black, Its Man's World is blaring in the arena. Larry Merchant coolly claims that Hopkins would look far more intimidating without the stupid mask. I agree with him. That almost never happens. He reaches the ring and stands looking around the ring.

I get back from getting my forth offering from the Sam Adams Variety Pack and Taylor is entering the ring. Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor; the Undisputed Middle Weight Champion of the World. Taylor is bouncing down the aisle while "Motivation" gets the crowd going. He dances around the ring and poses behind Michael Buffer as he makes his announcements to the crowd. Jay Nady salutes those of us who dropped fifty bucks. Derek Jeter is in the crowd. Rock Star Energy Drink logos are everywhere. Earl covered the fight here. The fight goes the distance but this time Hopkins doesn't mount much of an offense. He wasn't really soundly beat but he's the challenger this time around. Hopkins claims he's still a damn good fighter and he's right. He just can't beat Jermain Taylor.

Erica shows up with the girls, the band and seemingly everyone who attended the show. My cases of beer are gone in seconds. I'm not even drunk. Soon the band has the drum kit and keyboards set up and they start doing Beach Boys covers. Kokomo. I kid you not. Its 2am. Fight Night is over but mine has hours to go yet. A trip to 7-Eleven drunken women and loud silly music fill out the early morning hours. But you've heard about fight night already so its time to stop writing.