Well, Friday came and went. I was unable to participate in Friday Night Fights, because I was busy participating in Friday Night Fights. It only sounds like nonsense. You see, I was participating in some good old fashioned fisticuffs on Friday Night so I was unable to post a scan of comic book characters fighting. The boxing bootcamp culminated in a night of fighting, as we put our six weeks of blood, sweat, and embarrassing encounters to use in the ring.
This wasn’t my first time boxing, but I’m still pretty green. This match-up was much closer than the last time I gloved up. That time I was boxing a man who does this whole “punching hard” thing for a living, and while I think I did all right, it was clear that he was pacing me. Not so, this time. My opponent was more my equal in both size and skill level. I had a few pounds on him but he was quicker and slightly more agile. Our experience levels seemed about the same, so when we entered the fray it was a full-on battle royale. I will never be known for my finesse, either in the ring or in everyday life. I’m more inclined to stand and trade blows like a drunken 19th century Irishman or a Rock ’em Sock ’em Robot than to float like a butterfly. I was also slow to respond to the idea that I should actually be throwing punches. I had to eat one or ten jabs to the jaw before I settled down enough to start putting the things I learned to work for me. I may have even remembered to bob, though I almost certainly forgot to weave.
I landed a number of good solid rights, and worked his body at the start of every clinch. If there were judges, they probably would have awarded the first round to the other guy, but it would have been close. But after conferring with my cornerman and having some water poured on my head, I entered the second round with a little more strategy. I started working serious combos and probing for weaknesses in my opponents defense. I probably still looked a little sloppy, but I was thinking more like a sweet scientist than a back-alley brawler. I was landing serious blows, and I could see they were taking their toll on my foe. He was slowing down and his jabs were less controlled. He started clinching more.
Then, about halfway through the second round, it happened. On the advice of my corner, I threw a low jab at his solar plexus. He rolled his front guard down to cover just a little too late. I followed up with a big right hook aimed right at the side of his head. Time slowed down. The lights got just a little bit brighter. I couldn’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure reality actually shifted into slow motion. When the punch landed, the thump of leather meeting leather and fist meeting skull echoed through the room. I’m told everyone in the crowd heard the hit, and I could hear their collective intake of breath as my hook hit home. My opponent buckled just a little, swaying woozily as the referee started a standing eight count. He didn’t get very far before waving his hands to signal the end of the fight.
My second foray into the world of boxing ended in a knockout, albeit one of the technical variety. That was something new for me, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good. It was a good thing it came when it did, though, because I was seriously losing gas and I don’t know if I had the legs for another round. Fighter safety is a big concern so everyone made sure he was okay before we hugged it out. There were no hard feelings, and I think he is a consummate sportsman. He’s also a practicing attorney here in San Francisco, so I’m sure I’ll be pestering him for a job when summer rolls around.