Thanks to my awesome Girlfriend and the fortunate placement of my birthday, I had two seats to the Bernard Hopkins/Chad Dawson Title fight at the Staples Center last Saturday night. She knows I love the fisticuffs, and honestly there are few sporting experiences that compare to watching live fights. I figured at the very least we’d see Bernard Hopkins try and clinch, butt and trip his way to victory over a man he really has no business being in the ring with athletically, and maybe I could get that stupid “imitating Magic Johnson’s statue” picture I’ve always dreamed of while I had the chance.

One for two will have to do.

Hey, I’m well-aware that I look like a stumbling wino, but It’s probably because I’m in the middle of yelling “hurry up, I look like an asshole” at my photographer.

When all was said and done I can’t say I had a bad time, even though the actual fight degenerated into the kind of tomfoolery that has been slowly choking the life out of Boxing for years now. The short version (here is the long version if you’re interested) is that Bernard Hopkins hurt him little self in the second round and couldn’t continue, thus essentially forfeiting his title to Dawson and getting the shit booed out of him in the process. Yeah, the injury looked dubious to me but but X-rays later showed Hopkins had dislocated his shoulder, which not only means that he did in fact get hurt, but that my Girlfriend, who insisted that the fall looked bad, apparently understands this sporting stuff more than I do.

Talk about your double whammies.

So yeah, instead of the semi-boring chess match that this fight was likely to produce, we got a big dose of chicanery and a memorable moment or two. I mean, Max Kellerman interviewed both fighters afterward and I could not hear one single word of it over the lusty boos of the paying customers. That amused me, as did the disgusted reactions of the people I’d been talking to the whole night. One thing about Boxing crowds is that they tend to be more knowledgeable than most, and a night of talking about old fights with a bunch of dudes who care as much as I do is a fun night, indeed.

Oh, and as a bonus, we got to see one of the best rounds I’ve probably ever seen in my life, and watch a half-asleep Staples Center come un-glued on a moments’ notice. Round 11 of Jorge Linares vs Antonio DeMarco was some dramatic shit. Check it out for yourself.

What we saw on Saturday night was both the best and the worst Boxing, in a nutshell  It’s why I love it and curse it’s name at the same time.

And call me a sucker if you wish, but it’s also while I’ll probably never stop loving it.

John Hathwell


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