|knockout. First of 3 parts.Page 1 of 1 |
|From: bodypro8 (View Profile) (View All Correspondence)|
Subject: In 1983 my coach and a handful of Sent Date: 7/8/2009
fighters from the gym drove down to Kirkland, Washington, for a novice tournament. It was five fights or less to compete.
I had one going in. A one point split decision loss in my first fight, which was in the gym in the downtown east side.
One point=three punches. So, yeah. It was close.
Anyway, all the way down to Washington I'm eating and breathing fear.
We get there. It's an auditorium in a school if I can remember.
I strip down in the mens bathroom which is crowded with fighters hitting the scale. I'm aware of guys sneaking glances at me, especially if they were at or near my weight.
You saw those pictures,Dee. I was ripped to shreds. I trained like a pro because I trained with my friend, a pro, every day (we worked together at a cemetery).
I did everything he did but sparred less rounds.
Anyway I made weight at 131.5. The amateur lightweight limit is 132lbs.
There's two rings set up. I'm out in the auditorium warming up, hitting the focus mitts with my coach.
I swung wild with a left hook and knocked his glasses off. I saw fear. I apologized.
He says "there's your opponent." Points. I look. A skinny black kid surrounded by two white kids on either side.
This kid is looking straight ahead. His eyes looked like white saucers.
The other kids were pointing and snickering. Which I don't know why the one kid was laughing. He was my # 2.
The lighter weights always fight first. Lucky me. The place was filled up now. My coach holds the ropes open and I step into the ring. He tells me this "he didn't warm up. He's cold. KNOCK HIM OUT."
The ref asks me how I feel. I tell him I'm dying. He laughs and says "you'll be all right."
Now all this time, the fear is indescribable. It had nothing to do with this kid or anything. There is something about getting into a ring surrounded by people watching you and fighting.
It's about your manhood.
All this time I'm thinking: it's me or him. Over and over, like a drumbeat in my head. I felt like a cornered rat. Scared mean and viscous. I got to send this. It will come in instalments. Jesse