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September 26, 2012

Taking The Gloves – And The Pounds - Off


If I were a boxer I would have been fighting heavyweights like George Foreman who would flatten me like a Panini (and put me in his grill). That's because I weighed 209, the top weight class, which is 201 pounds and up. There is no limit, meaning I would have had to fight 300-pound guys. Clearly, that is motivation enough to lose weight.

It only took me a couple weeks to get down to the Cruiserweight Division, which is between 176-200 pounds for fighters. In the old days, before they created this class, most Heavyweights weighed in under 200 – Rocky Marciano, for example. I wouldn't want to fight him, either, and he's dead. Clearly, I had to go down to the next weight class. Evander Holyfield, who is very much alive, weighs in at 200 pounds, and I'd have to bite his ear off if I ever got in the ring with him.

When I hit 175 I entered a new boxing class. The greatest Light Heavyweight of all time was Archie Moore, who was still fighting when I was a kid. He looked like he was about 60, and he probably was. But he probably coulda whupped me, even if he wasn't a contenduh anymore.

The great Tommy Hearns, who used to be a Welterweight, swelled up to this weight and still knocked people out with his crushing right hand. No thanks, not for me.

So I dropped down to Super Middleweight, which has a maximum weight of 168. Sugar Ray Leonard once fought at this weight. Imagine! Me in the ring with Sugar Ray – I don't think so. Let's face it, he'd beat my brains in, and we can't have that – who would write this column? If I got hit in the head that many times I'd start making a bunch of dumb typos and misspelt a lot of words.

So today I stand on the precipice of the Middleweight division: 155-160 pounds. This division has always been considered the perfect blend of power, speed, and skills. Marvin Hagler fought at this weight. His nickname was "Marvelous Marvin" which really doesn't get across the fact that he would frequently beat his opponents to a bloody pulp.

I used to box when I was a kid. I belonged to the Boy's Club, and pretty much played every sport they had, even fencing and knock hockey. In those days Cassius Clay was still Cassius Clay, and he was my idol. I loved the way he boasted about his ability and wrote demeaning poems about his opponents. I did the same thing – and then the other kids would beat the crap out of me in the ring because they hated me and my big mouth.

I was painfully thin then. My Uncle Tom used to say I looked like I came from Biafra. My sister was the same way. My mother used to let us pretend we were camping out and cook hotdogs over the flame on the stove in the hope of putting some meat on our bones. She used to make us sandwiches with the bread crusts cut off, just the way we liked them. She used to pack goodies in our school bags. Nothing worked.

Finally my mother, who is a nurse, took us to a doctor who was an expert on nutrition. He examined me, and then my sister. "Why are you so skinny, little girl?" the doctor asked politely. "Because my mother never feeds me," my sister replied. Luckily, my mother was a Flyweight and didn't pack the punching power of a Heavyweight, or my sister would still be in a coma.

I weighed 133 when I was 30. Put in boxing lingo, I was somewhere between a Featherweight and a Lightweight.

The only fights I actually won were against equally scrawny kids. This is the guiding principle I'm using during my drive to lose weight: lose enough and instead of fighting the Mike Tysons you can beat up on the weaklings.

The truth is many of these boxing weight classes are artificial. They were created so there could be more champions, and more television revenue. They kept adding new weight classes and new championship belts until there were 25 divisions.

Originally, there were only eight: Flyweight (112 pound max), Bantamweight (118), Featherweight (126), Lightweight (135), Welterweight (147), Middleweight (160), Light Heavyweight (175), and Heavyweight (unlimited.)

I am now announcing that my ultimate destination will be to fight as a Welterweight. At that time I will also begin calling myself "Sugar Rick Marvelous."

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