BOXING: Bully for You as the Shy Types Make It in the Ring

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 28, 2003 | Go to article overview

BOXING: Bully for You as the Shy Types Make It in the Ring


Byline: Carolyn Hitt

B oxers are the most docile men in sport, Henry Cooper once said in the era before Mike Tyson liked to supplement his diet with a little fresh earlobe. It's one of the many paradoxes that make boxing such an intriguing sport.

Other ironies include: 1. Women who love boxing. Nice girls don't surely. Wrong. You may think two men rearranging the alignment of their jaws is anathema to the feminine instinct but a surprising number of females love it.

It's proper pugilism, not like that nancyboy wrestling your nan used to love Dickie Davies introducing on a Saturday.

Yet there was a time when boxing rated alongside kittendrowning and Jim Davidson on my disgustometer - that was before I actually watched a live fight.

Within five minutes, the bansheelike scream of ``Knock his brains out Chris!'' mysteriously emitted from my person, as the lisping one went in for the kill.

Like it or not, watching boxing can arouse something rather primeval in one's nature.

2. Promoters who promote themselves. How can you keep your eyes on the boxer at the prefight press conference when he is totally upstaged by the flamboyance of his management entourage?

Don King set the standard with a look that could only be emulated by attaching yourself to a couple of jump leads.

The suave Frank Warren, meanwhile, prefers the immobile barnet and country gent chic of a character from a 1960s cult British television series. One of these days, he'll turn up with Diana Rigg on his arm in a leather catsuit.

As for the assorted minions and hangerson, you'll hear them before you see them as they arrive sporting more chunky chains than Jacob Marley. Bling Bling Round One.

3.

Boxing and Posh Writers. It may be the sport of the ghetto, but boxing has inspired the most highbrow heavyweights.

From poetry to fiction, essays to drama, no other sport can boast a similarly prestigious literary lineup.

In the blue corner we have Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates and William Hazlitt. …

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BOXING: Bully for You as the Shy Types Make It in the Ring
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