The first reason, above all else, that a person sets out to become a boxing writer is the pure love of the game. Boxing writers are so passionate about the sport that they can see no other way to get closer to the action, aside from stepping in the ring themselves, than to become a fight writer.
They get to sit ringside at great events, have the opportunity to interview the fighters and hopefully get a little insight into the mind of a true warrior. Boxing writers are, first and foremost, fans.
As a fan of the sport, one of my main goals in life is to get everyone around me to become a fan as well. That goes from family and friends to acquaintances that I meet at the local pub. I want them to be able to share the excitement and thrill that I get when I see to guys putting everything on the line for a shot at become "The Champ."
If you feel strongly about something, it is intrinsic within every person to want to express those emotions and thoughts and to let others get inside your head.
I have been married for a little over two years now and my wife is the one person that I can talk with about boxing, for hours without as much as a breath of air. She became a fan because I am a fan and on Saturday nights, she will always sit down with me along with a case of brew and watch the fights.
It is funny that way, in my travels as an advocate of the sport; women seem to be able to get involved in the fights with more gusto than any man I have met. Especially if they have money on the fight, then their stake goes threw the roof and if you dare talk between rounds while she is listening to the corner man, you are dead.
Most of the time she doesn't have a clue who the guys are in the ring, but when it is fight night, she is extremely focused.
She has me trained. Just last week, we were lying on the couch watching a movie and she just sighed and said "I'm cold." Nothing more than that, just "I AM COLD." And without thinking about it, I stood up, walked into the other room, grabbed a blanket from the bed, turned the heat up a little, closed the window and sat back down.
It wasn't until about five minutes later that I realized that she hadn't asked me to do anything. She just said, "I'm cold" and like a dog that is trained to respond to those words, I snapped into action and alleviated the problem. She has me trained.
To any married man in America, this is nothing new. This is something that has been going on since the age of the caveman, and will continue to happen as long as there is a human race. But the other day, just as I was beginning to question my entire existence, my life took a turn for the best.
It was a Friday night and being as there were no fights on, and I had won pretty big on baseball, my fantasy team was down by a few points, but all in all it was a good day.
My old lady then decided that we should go out to dinner and I was feeling nice in the wallet area, so I had not qualms. We headed over to our favorite restaurant but there was a two hour wait. We tried a few local dives and had the same luck. So, our great evening out turned into the two of us eating burritos at the mall food court near our place. It was at that moment that I realized that I had her trained, just as much as she had me trained.
In Los Angeles, it is not uncommon to see celebrities anywhere you go. I have seen people from Chris Rock to Carmen Electra, just in my daily life. But that day was something better.
We were discussing the situation in the Sudan, (not really) and she stopped talking on a dime. Anyone who knows my wife knows that this does not happen, unless she is choking to death, and I am CPR certified so I wasn't all that worried.
She looked straight over my shoulder and said, "Turn around and look who just walked in." I turned, expecting to see some American Idol chick or Paris Hilton type psuedo celebrity, but instead I was pleasantly surprised.
"James Toney," she said. "Wow he looks HUGE in person."
I was flabbergasted. Not by the fact that James Toney was walking through the Topanga Mall, but because:
A.) How could anyone think that James Toney look bigger in real like than on TV?
B.) She recognized the former champ from behind, wearing a suit. She wasn't even looking at his face mind you; she was looking at him from behind. It was then that I knew, I had her trained.
I have single handedly converted over 10 people into the world that I live as a boxing fan, but none were more important than her.