IT’S FIGHT WEEK: Writer Kelsey McCarson Fights Jermell Charlo Dec. 6

Charlo-McCarson: Fundraiser Fight Week

The fight consumes me.

I am not myself. I am short with people and grumpy. People make jokes and I don’t laugh. I stare off into the distance while people around me do normal things like have conversations and share stories about their day.

I’m not me right now. My friends are all starting to say the same thing. They’ll be glad when all of this is over so they can have their Kelsey back. We’ll see if that is the case.

People ask me about the fight, but I don’t want to talk about it. It’s not that I’m nervous. I have no apprehension about the fight in the least. I’m not nervous. I’m not scared. I should be those things, but I’m not. But I’m consumed with the fight in a way that I’ve not been consumed with anything prior. It’s all I can think about.

It’s a strange thing. I know in my head I don’t have any real hope to do anything worthwhile against Charlo. He has all the speed, experience and boxing ability between the two of us. But my heart doesn’t seem to know that, and all the long hours I spent getting ready to spar him haven’t made my heart feel any less unreasonably sure in itself.

Maybe that’s what the heart is supposed to do. It wouldn’t admit it probably, but I think my poor little heart would be just fine getting knocked out in the first second of the fight so long as I strode forth bravely into the fray with courage and determination.

I hope I don’t let my heart down.

The worst of the training is over now. Last week was the most difficult week of them all. It was the last week I could push myself to the limit every day, and I did. My body hurt every day, but I scraped myself out of bed every morning so I could spread myself thin across the day again like a tiny layer of butter spread across too large a piece of toast.

I loved it. I was the crazy person running sprints in my neighborhood. I was the normal looking guy at Plex trying to keep up with the elite boxers. I was the one limping around between sets because his ankles and knees were trashed.

There’s still a bit more to go. The work will continue right up until the fight, only it will taper off now. But I’ve done everything I can to be ready to give Charlo my best effort. I didn’t skip one workout. I didn’t miss one rep. I didn’t just do everything I was asked to do. No, I did more.

I added little things here and there. If I was told to run five miles, I’d run six. If I was given 100 pushups to end my workout, I’d add some on top of that. I did the best I could. I’m proud of that.

I’m not sure I’ve ever tried so hard for something. I’m not sure I’ve ever been this consistent. Even the fighters at Plex have noticed. “You’ve done a really good job,” they say almost in disbelief. “You really have.”

But all of this is just vanity really. It’s all just fantasy camp nonsense unless it helps a kid named Corbin Glasscock from Tyler and his family pay for his cancer treatment. Thanks to generous friends, family, colleagues and readers, we’ve raised over $5,000 dollars so far for Corbin and company to do exactly that.

I am forever appreciative of this.

And we still have time to do more. My fight with Charlo will be on December 6 at Plex. Video of the bout will be posted at Boxing Channel soon after. We’ll leave the donation page up and running for a few weeks beyond that in case seeing Charlo and I spar encourages anyone else to open up their hearts and their wallets. We’ll hope Charlo’s fight on December 13 on Showtime Extreme encourages people to do that, too.

In the end, no matter what happens to me, we’ll have done something special together. It may seem small, or you may feel overwhelmed by all the troubles in the world (I admit there are so many), but in this one case of Corbin, we will have come together as a group and done something special. We will have helped a family in need of encouragement. We will have stood with Corbin in his corner and cheered. We will have helped him throw his punches.

Life seems silly and small sometimes. I know that as well as anyone. It can seem so brief and meaningless at times. But I think in mine I will have loved doing this one thing more than any other thing I’ve ever done.

Because fighting the good fight is always worth it, even when the odds are long.


Special thanks to my wife, Rachel, for being so very loving and supportive. Thanks to Danny Arnold and Ronnie Shields for allowing me to get in the way. Thanks to all the fighters at Plex for letting me slow them down here and there. Thanks to Jermell Charlo for agreeing to beat me up for Corbin. Thanks to Kayla and Josh Glasscock for allowing me into their lives. Thanks to Melissa Bradshaw and Renee Warren for bringing this special family to my attention. Thanks to Stacie Socia for making me laugh everyday on Instagram. Thanks to all my family, friends and social media pals for their love and support. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the fundraiser, shared the story or prayed for the family as they took this journey with Corbin.

And thanks to Corbin for being my hero.