The lighter side of boxing

cat hits dogA boxer was taking a terrific beating. When the bell rang to end the round, he staggered back to his corner. After asking for advice, his trainer told him, “Let him hit you with his left for a while, your face is crooked.”

A manager yelled to his boxer to stay down until eight. The boxer looked up from the canvas and said, “What time is it now?”

Trainer: “My fighter’s an ambidextrous fighter. He can be knocked out with either hand.”


This one boxer fought under the name of Kid Cousteau. Why? Because he took so many dives.

“Tell him he can have my title. But I want it back in the morning.” This was Jack Dempsey’s response when a drunk challenged him to a fight.

“You always say, ‘I’ll quit when I start to slide,’ said Sugar Ray Robinson. “And then one morning you wake up and realize you done slid.”

“Yeah, I’m scared,” said Joe Louis, just before the Max Schmeling fight. “I’m scared I might kill him.”

Jake LaMotta was asked by a reporter, “Who are the toughest fighters that you ever faced?” LaMotta’s reply: “The three toughest fighters I’ve ever been up against were Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Sugar Ray Robinson. I fought Sugar so many times, I’m surprised I’m not a diabetic! But I did have him off the canvas once … when he stepped over my body to leave the ring.”

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” said Muhammad Ali. “For me, boxing’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

Mike Tyson liked to gain an advantage by putting fear in the heart of his opponents. In the days leading up to his title fight with Lennox Lewis he told the press: “I want to rip out his heart and feed it to Lennox Lewis. I want to kill people. I want to rip their stomachs out and eat their children.”

At times a boxer has been like a preacher, a poet, letting loose with some very enlightening homilies, melodious sentiments from the heart.

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams, they have different names but all contain water. Religions have different names, but all contain truth.” – Muhammad Ali

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali

At times Mike Tyson could get pretty deep: “Everybody’s got plans…until they get hit. I am not a role model. I’m just an average guy. I’m not Mother Teresa, but I’m not Charles Manson either. I’m in trouble because I’m normal and slightly arrogant. A lot of people don’t like themselves and I happen to be totally in love with myself.”

“I consider myself blessed. I consider you blessed. We’ve all been blessed with God-given talents. Mine just happens to be beating people up.” This was Sugar Ray Leonard’s reply when receiving the third degree about why he was in the boxing profession.

Jorge Maromero Paez, the “Clown Prince of Boxing” never failed to entertain the crowd.

Boxers have shown showmanship as well

Even if you didn’t care for them, you have to admit boxers like Hector “Macho” Camacho and Jorge “Maromero” Paez were great for the sport. Why? Because they were always putting patrons in the seats.

Is there anyone on the horizon who can fill their void?

At a boxing card at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego’s Gas Lamp District, Rogue Boxing Promotions featured such a boxer, Marcus Upshaw. The Florida State middleweight champ entered the ring wearing the white mask from Phantom of the Opera, with tattoos covering the majority of his body and acting as if he were Dennis Rodman incarnate.

Derrick Thomas, knock out victim of Marcus Upshaw, July 10, 2009. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Marcus Upshaw sticks his tongue out at the crowd after his flashy display of ring generalship. Photo: Jim Wyatt

As luck would have it, Upshaw was able to back up his brashness by sending his opponent, Derrick Thomas, to the canvas twice. After the second knockdown the referee was calling for the fight doctor: “Thomas’ eyes are rolling to the back of his head!”

Thunderstruck, Thomas sat glassy eyed on his stool in the middle of the ring wondering what hit him, while Upshaw paraded around the ring taking his bows.

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