Every boxer reaches a stage in his career – I guess “his or hers” would be more politically correct these days . . . anyhow – every boxer reaches a point in his career where the signs that it is time to hang up the gloves come upon him in one form or another. Whether they choose to notice and acknowledge these hints is an entirely different subject.
Evander Holyfield, who reportedly just got married (again) to a young girl of 24 years, has been in some great wars over his career and would arguably be better off not stepping through the ropes again. Lennox Lewis barely survived his last bout with Vitali Klitschko and some are ready to stick a fork into the career of the big man and turn him over saying “he's done”. Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson was once on some people's pound-for-pound list, but after two losses and an uninspired win over the 27-26-5 Ricardo Medina he has seemingly aged overnight and at 31 may be on the downside of his career.
For some, the signs that their best days are behind them are subtle as above, for others it hits them square in the face – literally. Enough about those guys though – we know all about them so let's get to the subject matter at hand . . . me! Yeah, I am talking about Joey Knish. Yours truly would never be mistaken for a pale version of Tommy “The Hit Man” Hearns but I have certainly done my fair share of 'pitching and catching' in the local rings. The matter of whether or not my chosen outlet for recreation remains to be a wise one came about recently when my lady asked me about the upcoming Vernon Forrest-Ricardo Mayorga rematch.
All she really wanted was my opinion of what I feel may happen, yet what she got caused her some great concern. My reply to her inquiry was a level headed, “I think Mayorga is going to catch him again”. That was it, that's all I said. First she asked if I had really thought about it much. I had. She asked whether I had been drinking that afternoon. I hadn't. Was I feeling okay? Just fine. Had I been sparring that day? Umm, yeah . . . I had.
Then it started. For some reason my feeling that Mayorga is too strong and powerful for Forrest has been met with the same confused look from each and every person who normally might patronize me and make like they respect my opinion.
Not this time around. I know all the things I “should” be saying about this fight. Mayorga got lucky and can't do it again. Forrest is the better technical boxer by a country mile and the boxer beats the puncher 8 out of 10 times. Mayorga is merely a wild swinger who hit the nail on the head, once. He has fought – and been beaten by – three opponents who aren't even famous in their own household. Yes, I “should” say that Forrest will outbox Mayorga early, take him deep into the fight and sink the Nicaraguan before the final bell. But I can't.
Next weekend we will learn how long my boxing life has left on it based on what transpires in the ring in Vegas. If Mayorga gets schooled and fooled my time may be up. If not, I'll be back in the squared circle tasting leather again. By the way, seeing as though my ship is apparently sinking I may as well go down all guns blazing and call Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley over Zab Judah on the Forrest-Mayorga undercard. Really. Next weekend I'll know pretty well for certain if my egg has been scrambled.
Just a second. “Honey I'm busy – can you answer the door bell please”. Oops . . . she says it didn't ring.