Why I Love The Sport Of Boxing
By Bryan Brennan, bryguyboxing.blogspot.com: Last night I got home after a normal day of working, cracked a beer and chilled on my couch, as most normal people do. I then decided to check my Facebook, again, as most normal people do. I saw an update from a boxer I had "friended" about a year ago;
Article posted on 23.08.2009
Emanuel Augustus: "Well yesterday I had a bad dream. I dreamt I had got KO'd in the ninth round....ooh yea it wasn't a dream, it really happened. BOOO-HOO-HOO looks like it is either time for me to stop boxing and start training fighters!!!"
I will give you a little background on just who Emanuel Augustus the boxer is, but I suggest after reading this, you-tube him. Augustus was a true fighter, he was ready to get in the ring anytime, anywhere. Late in his career Augustus took on a bit of a different style that can only be described as "the drunken master". It is hard to put into words, so I once again suggest you you-tube it. These days it seems most fighters are taken through the ranks so carefully to protect that shiny undefeated record, they are never in a real fight. That was not the case with Emanuel Augustus. It seemed as if he never had an easy fight, and at times had no real time to prepare for one. Augustus has a record that reads 38-31-6. If you looked strictly at his record you would say he was no good, but you would be very wrong! At the end of his career we have to look a little closer at his sheet:
Ivan Robinson(Augustus was 8-5-2 when he took on the 22-0 Robinson)
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mickey Ward(ESPN fight of the year, Nominated for fight of the decade)
Carlos Wilfredo Vilches(Augustus took the fight on 2 days notice)
David Diaz(undefeated at the time)
Courtney Burton(controversial SD lose, he would KO Burton in 8, two years later.)
Kelson Pinto(undefeated at the time)
He has fought in 22 different states, 9 countries, and many of those places were the other fighter's home turf.
The best fight I saw involving Augustus was against Lowell's own Mickey Ward, which would end up being Ring Magazines Fight of the Year.(Ward won a unanimous decision, in NH.) That may have been the best fight, but it is not my strongest memory.
On July 8th, 2005 Augustus took on veteran Ray Oliveira at Hampton Beach Casino in New Hampshire. Ray Oliveira was a never quit, never give up type of boxer. The type that would probably continue fighting even if the building started to cave in. During the 8th round of that fight Oliveira grabbed the back of his head as if he had taken a rabbit punch, but none were thrown. It was a strange reaction that had many people watching imagining the worst. In typical Oliveira fashion, he said he was fine, refused the doctor, and the fight continued with 1:30 still left in the round. Augustus never threw another head shot, he barely even threw a body shot. Augustus could see the same as everyone else, that something was wrong. He decided to take the high road and not worsen the situation, or the safety of the other fighter. Referee Steve Smolger didn't let the fight continue after that round.
In a sport where a cut is pounced on like a shark to food, and swollen eyes are target practice. Where Antonio Margarito thinks it's ok to put Plaster of Paris on his hand wraps (he was busted last January) In a sport that sometimes is dirty, dangerous, and downright inhumane, Augustus did the unthinkable, he backed off.
After reading his Facebook update I wrote on his wall: "It has been fun watching you throughout the years. It's not often you get to thank an athlete you admire, but because of Facebook I can. Thank you!"
This morning he wrote back to me "My pleasure, and I'm glad you liked some of the things I did in the ring."
No one would have blamed Emanuel Augustus if he had gone for the knockout that night, and he certainly didn't have to respond to me on Facebook, but he showed honor, class, compassion and most of all, reminded me why I love boxing.
You can contact Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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