He did it. He sparred a top tier pro, and lives to tell the tale. Tell us, Kelsey McCarson, what was it like being in there with Jermell Charlo, in a scrap set up to raise money for the family of a kid battling cancer?
McCarson: “Let me tell you: this is what it's like to fight me,” Jermell Charlo told my wife before the bout started, 'You think I'm right here, but really I'm back here. You want to punch me here, but really I'm over there.'
Better man than I, is Kelsey McCarson. I mean, based on what he's doing on Saturday, putting his body, his brain, his pride on the line in a charitable endeavor, the dude deserves mad props.
You've heard about this, right? About how this slightly overfed sportswriter–and I can say that, I'm of the same ilk–has been training his tush off so pro ace Jermell Charlo can kick that tush around for three rounds, for a good cause.
The fight is being held to gain attention for and raise money for a little boy who has himself proven even a mite tougher than Kelsey; little Corbin Glasscock, who is dealing with bone cancer, handles with his chemo routine like a Hall of Famer….But in this nation, a severe illness can render a family on the ropes financially, and sometimes the community has to step up, and fill the gap. That's what my man McCarson is doing, and so far, over $6,000 has been raised to go to the Glasscock family.
I hereby respectfully challenge some of my more well heeled friends–YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, I am not naming names—to get out that check book, and scribble a couple zeros on a donation to Corbin.
C'mon, folks…this is selfless task by McCarson and I'd love for us to move the needle in a most meaningful fashion, monetarily!
Here is a Q n A I did with my favorite Texas Republican, “Krusher” Kelsey McCarson!
Woods: Fight night almost here. You pooping bricks yet?
McCarson: It's hard to explain. I'm not worried or nervous yet. I'm sure I will have butterflies that morning, but I feel that way over lots of things. I know what boxing is, so I'm not worried about the outcome of the fight. I am prepared for anything that can happen to me in the ring. I've had many struggles in my life (I've written about some of them at TSS), and I am certain I've been in more dangerous situations than the ring before. It's actually really exciting. How many people get to do something like this? And for a six-year-old with bone cancer? I will say that as the fight approaches I've become more and more aware of just how difficult landing any kind of punch on Charlo will be. He's really exceptional defensively and I am a damn novice. I'm doomed! Also, I watched some film of him against two southpaws a bit recently but found it just discouraged me more than anything. So I quit doing that!
Do you think he will throw a punch at full velocity at you? Do u want him to?
I'm assuming he'll throw punches at me like he does other sparring partners. So they'll be painful, but I've not seen anyone really throw punches sparring the way they do on fight night. So I'm not sure. I've told Jermell numerous times that he'll have to take care of business when the bell rings because he will never hear the end of it if he doesn't. Now, he probably won't run out to eradicate me in just a few seconds. He knows it's a charity fight. So I'm sure he'll move and do things here or there to show how much better he is at boxing than me. But I'm throwing mine at him for sure.
Do you have a nightmare of being dropped and stopped? Or cutting him and messing up his schedule?
I'd gladly get knocked out cold if it raises more money for Corbin. I don't care about that. It doesn't bother me in the least. I just don't want to embarrass myself. The boxing ring has a way of bringing out the truth in people. I don't believe I am a coward or a quitter, but I'm anxious to find out if I'm right. I'd be embarrassed to find out that I'm wrong, but if it raises more money for Corbin, I suppose I'm okay with that, too. On a side note, there have been cases in my life where I did act cowardly. And even more cases where I quit. Honestly, the latter is the thing that keeps me up at night. There were times and places I quit when I shouldn't have. I didn't just quit on myself in these cases, but I quit on other people! Some of my biggest regrets in life are around quitting on other people. I haven't done that in a long time. But some things you carry with you the rest of your life. I'll carry that in the ring with me, but I hope I can leave it there when the final bell rings. If not, I'll carry it with me the rest of my life. But maybe it makes me a better person. I don't know.
As far as cutting him or something, I'm not sure that's something sparring partners should really worry about. Jermell spars three times a week or so. I'm sure I'll land nary a punch! I'll do my best, of course.
Do you stay in contact with the boy? Will the boy watch?
I talk to his mom on Facebook a few times a week, and I keep up with Corbin's life through her and others who share his story. He's quite admirable. Corbin is facing something tougher than anything I've had to deal with in my life and he's only six years old! Yet Corbin is brave. Corbin is not a quitter. I used to have a glove signed by Erik Morales. I kept it near my desk at home. I'd look at it whenever I needed inspiration or something. That may seem corny, but it's true. But Morales was a warrior. He was a real fighter. But I sent it to Corbin awhile back and told him I didn't need it anymore because now I could just think of Corbin when I need inspiration. Because Corbin is a warrior. He's a real fighter, too.
The family does hope to attend the fight. I didn't expect that, but I suppose I maybe should have. It's a fairly cool thing to have done on your behalf. I suppose I never considered that. I am sort of single-minded when it comes to things. I came up with the sparring idea because I figured it would garner the most attention so we could raise the most money possible. I hope they can be there to see it. Corbin has gone through a couple weeks of chemotherapy so they might not be able to come if he doesn't feel well enough. Regardless, he'll be in our hearts when Jermell and I fight on Saturday. Jermell talks about Corbin inspiring him, too. The kid has a way of doing that to people.
Will this or has it already changed you and how you cover the sport?
Absolutely. Boxing is the most difficult sport in the world. I knew that already, but I have experienced that now. And I have a deeper respect for fighters and what they put themselves through year-round. My body hurts everyday like never before, but so do all the other fighters up there at Plex. They live in pain everyday, and they work their butts off to be the best they can be. There is something amazingly wonderful in that. They are single-minded in their approach. They exercise for function not form. They live prioritized lives and give themselves entirely to their vocation. We could all learn from that. I know I have.
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