Posted by: Joe | November 25, 2007

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“For a 45 minute fight, you gotta train hard for 45000 minutes, 45000!” – Mickey Goldmill, Rocky II

My fight was only 6 minutes–I for damned sure put in more than 6000 minutes training.

Because the weather was nasty on Thursday night I took off early from work to make sure I had no traffic troubles. I missed all the bad traffic and got there an hour or so early–time to stretch out on a bench and catch up on some podcasts. The good thing about arriving early is that I was able to weigh in virtually the minute the lead official arrived with the scale. My official weight for the bout was 146lbs, but I’m almost certain the scale was a pound or so on the light side.

After weighing in I dug into my “refueling pack” with a vengeance. After a litre of chocolate milk, a bottle of Powerade, a couple granola bars, a bagel and a bottle of Krating Daeng, I was ready for a fight.

It was a cool atmosphere for a fight–we were in a ballroom in the back of a restaurant, and the fighters all warmed up in storage areas adjacent to the kitchen. It felt like we were in the background of an old gangster movie. The ring was set up about 5′ off the floor, and it seemed massive. The ring I’m used to is 20′ square, this one was probably 24′. I was scheduled for the 8th bout on the 10-bout card, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 150-200 people.

I expected to be much more nervous than I was. I think going to see an event a couple months ago was a big help, as were some of the mental drills I’ve done for curling. Many of the cliches that you hear about athletes when they’re focussed on the task at hand are absolutely true–I barely remember the walk to the ring, and the noise of the crowd seemed dulled as if they were behind a glass wall, but I remember the fight with startling clarity.

My opponent was tall, probably around 5’9″-5’10”, but since virtually all of my sparring partners are that height or taller and outweigh me, I was prepared. The first round was all me–I slipped his jabs easily and backed him up the entire round with a series of flurries. I don’t remember him landing anything in the first. The second round was closer. His jab began to find the mark, but I was able to get inside and work the body enough to keep the round even until the end. With about 15 seconds left I ducked under a left hook and staggered him with a hard, clean overhand right that won me the round. We were both gassed for the third round, and mostly traded jabs–since we were certain I had the first two rounds, I was reluctant to mix it up and stayed out of range of any power punches.

Having your arm raised by the Canadian Heavyweight Champion who refereed the fight is pretty damned cool. And while I’ve won a lot of trophies and medals in my time, this chintzy hunk of metal is a little more special than most of them.

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My victory dance was a few triple-chocolate espresso bean cookies that I made the night before.  No cookie has ever tasted better.

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Responses

  1. Congratulations, Joe! Wow! It must feel good to see all of that hard work pay off in a handy win :)

  2. Congrats Bro! But then we all knew you could do it. Now when people ask, “What does your brother do?”, I can say, “He’s a boxer.”

    That sounds pretty damn cool.

  3. Yes, by all means, use that as your answer. There are days I’d rather be punched in the face than write another line of C code.

  4. Can I pick neither of the above?


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