I haven’t been following boxing but I don’t like anything about the Floyd Mayweather / Logan Paul fight, except maybe the pleasure of an obnoxious person getting hurt, and I don’t like to cultivate that taste in myself. This is not a sporting event, it’s an exhibition. The prescripted outcome isn’t known to me but I suspect it’s known to others as well.
“The fix is in,” in other words. Looking into the origin of the term I find, among other things, a spay and neuter clinic in Wisconsin.
Some time ago I got pretty interested in boxing both as a workout routine and spectacle. In both it was rewarding. The world of writing about boxing is wonderful: AJ Liebling, Joyce Carol Oates. The Fight is the only Norman Mailer book I ever finished, I suspect it may be his best. I found a copy in a youth hostel in Ireland and ate it up. Of course When We Were Kings is unreal on the same tale, a story so good you could hear it told many times and not get bored. Best of all might be Pierce Egan.
The quality Egan most admires is “bottom”:
Boxiana is worth getting just for the fitness regimens.
That’s for a pedestrian, one who competed in long walking competitions like a thousand miles in a thousand hours, that kind of thing.
Once I contemplated going for an MA at Cambridge on the topic of Pierce Egan, but then I realized that would be a most un-Pierce Egan thing to do.
During my boxing period I got a press pass, maybe after pitching an idea to Slate, for the second fight of Manny Pacquiao against Morales. In my memory, I wrote the article, and Slate didn’t publish it, but that may be inaccurate. What I remember is seeing Freddie Roach at the press conference. Impressive man. Dedham kid. He spoke of his own fighting career, and said he was never the same boxer after he’d been knocked out.
Having attended a Pacquiao fight made me a superstar among the Filipino sailors when I sailed on the Hanjin Athens cargo ship from Long Beach to Shanghai.
Here is a chart I made tracing back boxers into the past by who fought who. Having shaken the hand of former heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis, I wanted to see how far I could get back. Looks like I made it to Jem Mace,
Forgive the poor quality photo, the original is somewhere.
I wondered if I could connect all the way to Cribb vs. Molineaux:
(that print is at the Met, which I think may be in error, or at least in conflict, with the WBA about how many rounds this fight went. I’ll mention it at the ball.)
The morning of the championship, Molineaux ate a boiled chicken, an apple pie, and drank a half-gallon of beer.
Was the fix in on that one?
SPOLER ALERT! Ecksel again:
Let me add to Wikipedia’s list a work by my former roommate Sean Denis Boyland, acryllic (?) on photograph (?), that I’ve crudely approximated above. Begun and completed in the East Village of Manhattan, or perhaps Chelsea, Massachusetts, possibly in the summer of 2003, the artist bought an enlarged framed photo on the street and painted on it. The key was the elegance of the brushstroke which I just can’t replicate here.
Anyone who has further remembrance of this work is encouraged to contact Helytimes.
Re: lost artwork, always taken some perverse pleasure that I saw one of the most famous missing paintings ever, Rembrandt’s Storm on The Sea Of Galilee, before it was stolen from Boston’s Gardner Museum in 1990.
Discussion question: how much does it matter that the original painting is missing when there are extremely good photographs of it?
Three good losties from Wiki’s gallery: Van G’s Scheveningen beach in stormy weather, stolen 2003:
and Cezanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise, stolen from the Ashmolean during a fireworks show on New Years’ Eve 1999:
As the thieves ignored other works in the same room, and the stolen Cézanne has not been offered for sale, it is speculated that this was a case of an artwork stolen to order.
And how about Flinck, Landscape with an Obelisk?
“The pattern of a newspaperman’s life is like the plot of ‘Black Beauty,’ ” A. J. Liebling wrote. “Sometimes he finds a kind master who gives him a dry stall and an occasional bran mash in the form of a Christmas bonus, sometimes he falls into the hands of a mean owner who drives him in spite of spavins and expects him to live on potato peelings.”
(found that today on this New Yorker blog post about Bezos/WaPo. If I had a business I really loved and I had to sell it, I think I’d be happy if Jeff Bezos bought it?)
Well, that resolved me on spending a profitable few minutes digging out my old copy of The Sweet Science and finding a choice paragraph of Liebling for Helytimes fans (“Heliacs”?). How about:
By the time the first of the feature eight-rounders came on, the crowd was in fine voice. It was a neighborhood crowd, except for the concentrated groups of fighters’ friends, and the neighborhood is not tough but hearty. As it happens, this [Sunnyside Garden at 45th and Queens Boulevard] is the region to which the authentic Manhattan accent has emigrated, according to a learned cove I met at Columbia years ago, who went about making recordings of American regional modes of speech. The more habitable quarters of Manhattan, he told me, have been preempted by successful inlanders who speak Iowese and Dakotahoman; the inhabitants of West Harlem talk like Faulkner characters, and East Harlem speaks Spanish. “Just as the anthropologist who wishes to study pristine African culture must find it among the Djuka Negroes of Surinam, who were snatched from Africa in the eighteenth century, I must carry my tape recorder to Queens to study the New York speech of Henry James’ day,” he said.
Remember: he’s writing about a boxing match.
The Sunnyside Garden no longer stands but it must’ve been around here.
Inside my copy of The Sweet Science, I found a chart I once made. I was trying to link Lennox Lewis, whose hand I once shook, as far back into the history of boxing as possible by an unbroken connection of people who had punched each other.
Looks like I made it to Jem Mace (1831-1910)
The goal was to get back all the way to Cribb and Molineaux.
I believe I later did this, but I don’t know where that chart is and it’s time to start my day.
Tom Molineaux was born a slave in Virginia, fought Tom Cribb in England in 1810, and “died penniless in the regimental bandroom in Galway in Ireland from liver failure [when he] was 34 years old.”