Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me introduce you to a blogger with a heart of gold.
Regular visitors to TSS over the last couple of years of course know the work of Kelsey McCarson, who happens to be in my top five list of Favorite Republicans. Er, OK, the list stops at five, but anyways…
This Texas resident has brought a huge helping of passion, and more importantly to me, heart and soul, to the website since I showed better than average for me wisdom and invited him to contribute. I haven’t regretted it for an instance and I wasn’t surprised one iota when McCarson informed me he was going to allow himself to be walloped in a ring by a pro boxer for charity.
I conducted a Q n A with “Big Mac,” to get a better sense for me and you what he’s trying to accomplish with this auto-demolition job.
Kelsey furnished some basics about his philanthropic effort, and shared some deeper insights into why he’s going this route.
Oh, and by the way, the lede of this story has an inside joke in it. I won’t get deep into the weeds here, but suffice to say I do believe this kid is MORE than worthy of inclusion into the Boxing Writers Association of America.
In three weeks, McCarson is going to spar undefeated junior middleweight Jermell Charlo. They’ll spar for three rounds using 16 oz gloves, headgear, etc. The rounds will be three minutes long.
We don’t have the exact date yet, but it will happen the first week in December. Jermell fights Demetrius Andrade for the WBO junior middleweight tile on December 13. They are announcing the sparring event before they can solidify the exact date only to give them more time to raise money for their chosen charity. This will be the culmination of a six-week project McCarson is doing for Boxing Channel where they show Jermell’s training camp leading up to the fight. He is living like a fighter for this time period, to show a normal person having to do what a fighter does for six weeks. He is about three weeks into things right now. All he does is work and train and “his body is in constant pain, it’s truly drudgery. Jermell calls it “torture” and he’s right. Fighters torture themselves to get ready to fight.”
They will spar at Ronnie Shields’ gym at Plex. Plex is owned by Danny Arnold, a world-renowned strength and conditioning guru. Ronnie trains his fighters at Plex and Danny does the S&C part. Athletes from all over the world go there to train. On any given day he’s there, he trains alongside NFL, MLB and NBA players. It’s surreal. When he’s working out, he’ll look to his left and see former NBA all-star Tracy McGrady or NFLer Joseph Addai.
Here’s the best part for fight fans: They will record the sparring session in its entirety and post it at Boxing Channel the following day so that people can watch McCarson get pummeled. That should help encourage people to donate to the cause!
This is the question he gets asked most often. The short answer is that there’s a 6-year-old kid named Corbin Glasscock from his hometown who is in the fight of his life right now. Corbin’s parents took him to the doctor last month because he was complaining of a sore arm. Such a mundane thing, right? But the doctor’s diagnosed Corbin with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. The doctors also give him only a 50 percent chance of survival. As you probably know, the medical treatments Corbin requires are very expensive, so McCarson saw an opportunity to try and help Corbin through the Boxing Channel project he is working on with Jermell, Ronnie and Danny.
All of them were very supported of the idea. The first thing Jermell asked was how he could help. He and his brother, Jermall, are very generous and thoughtful people, especially for only being only 23-years-old.
“There’s a long history of writers getting into the ring with fighters, and the last time it happened was probably when Chris Mannix sparred Juan Manuel Marquez. Of course, George Plimpton was famously bloodied by Archie Moore, and there have been many others as well. Heck, even the great Ernest Hemingway fancied himself as a pugilist. The idea of it appeals to McCarson “for some reason. I don’t know. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’ve never been one to shy away from such things, especially something that could help someone like Corbin in his battle with cancer,” the writer said.
This is a novelty but no joke. McCarson doesn’t have any real hope to do anything other than get beat-up. But he sees a great opportunity in that. It’s very strange, but as it approaches, “I feel absolutely no fear of it. If anything, I’m absurdly excited to get to the big day. I am not focused on anything other than what I can do. I am only concerned with how I can prepare for that day. I have skipped no workouts. I have had no cheat days. I didn’t even have one piece of candy on Halloween! I’m all in,” he reports.
“Honestly, there were times in my life where I could have used this kind of resolve. There are places, times and people (especially people) I gave up on in the past that I shouldn’t have. The reason was always the same: I was focused on things I couldn’t control rather than what I could. I was focused on others instead of myself. But for this one thing, I feel as if I am living life the right way. I have no control over what Jermell does. I can’t control how much faster or stronger he is. I can’t control how much more skill and experience he has. But I can control how hard I work in the gym. I can work on my jab everyday. I can shorten my punches and make them as fast and straight as possible.”
Questions from Michael Woods:
Did your lovely wife or anyone try to dissuade you?
It seems that everyone else is more worried about the fight than Rachel and I. My mom wasn’t thrilled with the idea, and everyone else I’ve talked to either gives me advice or tells me I’m crazy. Rachel expects things to be hard on her when the fight happens, but she’s as into boxing as anyone, so she knows what is going to happen. I suppose that’s the thing: I know what boxing is. I know the risks that everyone takes whenever they choose to fight, and I am prepared for all of them.
The absolute worst thing that could happen is something tragic. It’s such a small (and unlikely) risk but a real one. But that tragic thing we all fret over comes to us all in the end, and wouldn’t fighting for a kid and a family be better than doing something stupid like slipping in the shower? I’d gladly die doing something more noble than that any day of the week.
What are you hoping to do with this effort?
I’m hoping to give the Glasscock family as much money as possible to help them cover Corbin’s medical treatments. There is so much they have to deal with right now. Corbin’s schedule over the next few months is more rigorous than any fighter’s training camp, and it costs so much money. That means mom and dad have to take days off from work to take Corbin in for his treatments and surgeries. That means family and friends have to pick up the slack with everyday things that the Glasscocks will undoubtedly lose focus on. And the last thing the family needs right now is the pressure of wondering how they’re going to pay for the treatments Corbin needs. The last thing they need to feel right now is alone.
Do you have a challenge for some of the monied folk who you’d like to see pony up for this great cause?
Give! There is so much money made in boxing, and there are so many good and generous people in the sport. I’d love to show the entire world that the boxing community is as kind and generous as any other in the world. Boxing has all sorts of problems. I’ve met both the best and worst people I’ve even known through the sport. But the best of us are good enough to make a real difference in the world. So let’s do it right here and right now with Corbin!