This week I attended my very first boxing match… bout…fight… whatever you call it, at Acer Arena in Sydney. The main event saw Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine take on the winner of last year’s reality hit ‘The Contender,’ Garth Wood.
I was quite impartial going into the fight. I have never quite understood the allure of boxing, and the thought of watching two men beat the s*** out of each other seemed overwhelmingly barbaric and just a little bit stupid.
But I must admit I have been swayed, and am beginning to see why so many people flock around a padded square, with a few soft posts, and some stretchy rope.
It’s not just about the lightning fast jabs, or the brain shattering uppercuts. It’s all about the theatrics darling! Most successful boxers could moonlight as beefed-up Hollywood action stars.
I mean, it’s all a little bit ridiculous, but undeniably fabulous. The music, the entrance, the entourage, the heckling- all closely examined by the football stars, socialites and wannabes in the front row.
Not to mention the hundreds of look-a-likes all donning tight white tees struggling to hold their stitches together under the strain of the bulging, steroid fuelled muscles within. It’s intoxicating.
I had absolutely no concern with who won, I was just there because I was the lucky recipient of a spare ticket and had nothing better to do at 11.30 on a Wednesday night.
I know many Australians love to hate Mundine because of his carefully crafted media image, but I am not one of these people. I simply do not care enough! So I really didn’t mind who won.
That was, until I saw the ‘Peakhurst Inn’ banner being erratically waved around by a member of the Wood entourage.
So of course, being a proud ex-pat of the fine southern Sydney suburb of Peakhurst, I was instantly urged to support the contender.
And that I did, soon finding myself out of my seat and screaming obnoxiously, much to the annoyance of the Mundine supporters around me.
Needless to say, my loyalty to the homeland payed off, and in the fifth round ‘The Man’ was knocked out by a lethal blow to the back of the head, swiftly delivered by Wood, making him the first person the knock out Mundine, who has only been beaten in 4 out of his 44 professional fights. Pretty impressive.
So all in all my first boxing experience was thrilling. While I still find it a little bit silly, it definitely oozes a sort of sleazy, exclusive, sexy, homoerotic vibe.
But what I enjoyed most were Mundine’s comments the following day.
While reading the paper I had to double-check I hadn’t accidentally picked up the Bible when Mundine was quoted as saying that his “greatness” will re-emerge; “…the doubters and the non-believers can have their fun. But I came back before and I know The Man can come back again, I know that.”