Eighty eight times he was on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, and the odd guest host. He’s The Amazing Kreskin, the “It” mentalist of this age, a Jersey guy with a gift, who used to sit next to The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, and get ribbed by the prankster pugilist. Ali would growl at the man who makes predictions, though he doesn’t consider himself a “psychic.”
“Why’s Carson give you more time than me?” the hitter would snarl, his lip curled malevolently, but his eyes hinting at his level of true mirth. The joke always scored, and the entertainer who is still a regular on Fox News, and other broadcast outlets, still talks today about his fondness for the greatest sports entertainer the world will ever know.
He did so the other day, at the famed Gleason’s Gym in DUMBO, Brooklyn, as he did a session with female fighter Heather “The Heat” Hardy, who headlines a Broadway Boxing show in Manhattan tonight (Oct. 15).
The Brooklyner Hardy takes a 10-0 record in with her to the card promoted by Lou DiBella, which will unfold at BB Kings, and she’ll face off with 5-6-4 Crystal Hoy, with a WBC super bantam international crown up for grabs.
Hardy is open to just about any legal means to gain and edge, so she agreed to give some time to Kreskin, to seek a little something that would serve her well at a time when he stamina dipped even a tiny sliver. And, pray tell, what went on in that Gleasons office, which was closed for about 20 minutes?
“I was almost sleeping,” the hitter told me. “It was a nice break from training. I sat down, and he said, Shaddup, don’t move. Just kidding! He wants you to tap into your subconscious, talks a lot about relaxing.”
In her last outing, Hardy had a stern test, at Barclays Center, against Jackie Trivilino this June. She won a TD7, but heard a smattering of boos from folks who thought Trivilino got the W. “I was really disappointed,” she told me. “But c’mon, she butted me four different times and she wasn’t just butting, she was jumping up. That time, we did a lot of work in camp, but we didn’t practice headbutt defense!”
The Kreskin session, she said, can’t hurt, but she will rely, she says, on an old mindset instilled by one of her first trainers. “I was told, think like a tiger was dropped into the ring with you, and fight for your life! Win, or die!”
So, after she did the deep breathing, and worked on honing her concentration, Hardy hit the road.
I chatted with Kreskin, who had nothing but high praise for the fierce female warrior. “Listen,” he told me, “I can’t give her bigger muscles, I’m not going to get her stronger, but so much of it is mental. If she has the ability to anticipate her opponents’ blows, that’s a winner! Unquestionably, she was a very receptive subject, but this is not magic. I do think all youngsters can learn from sports. They are not given anything, they have to prove themselves. And we all have that unconscious mind, and the ability to get to that deeper level of thinking. So, this dates me, I remember Joe Louis, but Ali, he was a legend, too. And I think Heather could become a legendary female fighter! I think she has it in her! There’s something about her!”