Me And Boxing?

To be writing about watching a boxing match is odd and will probably never happen again.

In quite strange circumstances I finished up watching the Joshua / Parker fight on Saturday evening.

That was the first time for 32 years that I have watched a boxing match live.

In fact I can be precise – the last boxing match I watched was on 8th of June 1985.

How do I know that?

Well it was my wedding day and there was a massive fight for the featherweight crown.  Barry McGuigan from Ireland beat the Panamanian  Eusebio Pedroza.

I knew that several of the men attending our wedding were keen to see the bout and with a little bit of subterfuge we got our go ahead pass from the ladies – our loved ones – bless them.  In fact – I thoroughly enjoyed that fight – the event the razzmatazz and the occassion.

I have never however bothered with boxing ever since  – certainly not to watch live.

So why this one?

Well it was an opportune moment.

I have to get you into the story by setting the scene.

My adult kids were home for Easter weekend and we Watsons were invited around to our friends the MacKenzies (also two adult boys)  for dinner.  So along with a fiance of one of the Mackenzie boys we had a chance to catch up with everything since we were last all together.

Now in an early chat during the evening with Murdo MacKenzie (guess where he comes from) I  found out that he had paid £19 (= $25) for televised live event of a boxing match between our boy Anthony Joshua and New Zealander Joseph Parker.

Hmm – I was interested – I wanted to stay to see this event – which was due to start about 10:30 pm.  I was the designated driver and had only drunk 0.5% beer (yes you read that right – Nanny State brew 0.5% and it tastes good)  So I thought I was in a good position to get to see the fight.

Now I had been reading about the match all week as this was a big event pulling together some of the belts – don’t ask me any details – but they all had silly 3 letter titles IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA – this was some sort of unification battle and after that there was another one to chase currently held by somebody called Deontay Wilder.

I should have linked all of the last paragraph to wikipedia links.

The statistics were impressive and this was a showdown – Joshua and Parker had never lost a fight.  They were both getting into the ring as winners.  One of them had to lose.

Look at this –

Joshua: Fights 20, Won 20, Knockouts 20
Parker: Fights 24, Won 24, Knockout 18

There was a slight problem for me getting to watch this though – would the family want to leave before the bout.  My son Tom was asking good questions and appeared to be interested – but there was Babs and Zoe!

The TV went on and my wife began to talk about leaving to go home.

The Cardiff arena was packed with 80,000 fans and the atmosphere was electric.  I can really get into any event and my desire to see the event was growing.  However Babs was looking at me with some horror.  She didn’t have to say anything – her face was asking the questions.  You never watch boxing?

My son Tom was showing some interest at that stage but my daughter was not and was on Babs side.

Murdo’s wife came to rescue for me as she offered drinks and to my delight the youngsters responded as youngsters do.

YES!

The Televised Event

So there we were – with such a mixed bag of expectations and the conversation was hilarious.  Just like watching Goggle box.

You have to be aware that the conversations were wine fueled.  (Except for me on my Nanny State beer).

My wife Babs W pointed out that she had never in her sixty odd years ever watched a boxing match.  Or even wanted to.

Babs W: “How long does this go on?”
Callum M: 12 rounds
Babs W: “How long is a round?”
Callum M (with tongue in cheek told a porky): “Seven and half minutes a round and a minute between each round”
Babs W: “You what!!”  I could see her calculating.  90 Minutes plus 12.

My position was precarious – I just had to cut in and tell her that it was really 3 minutes for each round.

Another conversation going on was about the pay.   In fact I began working out the hourly rate of pay.  Because Joshua has knocked out all of his opponents he has only boxed 65 rounds in his professional career in his 20 fights.  He has earned approximately £50 million pounds for those 65 rounds ( about three hours of actual boxing in his career)  Oh and by the way he got another £18 million pound to add to that on Saturday.

To be fair – Babs SORT of got into it.
She came to the conclusion that Joshua would wait until round 10 – this was to make sure that the crowd got their moneys worth and then Parker would be dropped to the canvas.
She then went to sleep.
We decided to wake her up at round 10.

Babs was not alone sleeping.

Callum W’s fiancee who had wrapped herself in a blanket and snoozed from the word go.

On the other hand Zoe W really GOT into it.
She was wanting to know why Joshua hadn’t knocked out Parker and was living with every punch.
Murdo said that she would have been at home in Roman times when the gladiators took on the tigers.

So how about Murdo – after all he was the one that had paid for it all.
I have to report, he was not happy, and was convinced the referee had a wager on the fight going the full distance.
The fight seemed to be broken up everytime it was about to ignite.
The papers the next day were full of criticism for the referee and the way he kept stepping in too early.
Typical headline – Referee intoxicated by power – like a nightclub bouncer.

Simple answer – let Zoe W referee next time – she will let them go for each other.

Our man won.  The next battle for him it is hoped is this Wilder guy.   I wonder if I will see that fight.