Duking It Out In Philly
Hey sports fans, long time, no see. Apologies for not posting lately, but my real life has been a tad overwhelming. The Man has paid his visits and wants more than just a pound of flesh. Thankfully, I have lots of help … not! Oh well, you roll with it and do your best, right?
I did take some time to go to the 2300 Arena in South Philly to see some pro boxing. Sure, sure, you don't like boxing because it's too violent. Whatever. It's hugely athletic and is probably one of the first sports known to man. I'm not hanging on everything coming out of King Sports, but I like to go to these bouts occasionally.
If you've never been to the 2300 Arena, you haven't experienced Philly. It's in a cruddy part of town surrounded a bunch of warehouses. No, no, it's not in Center City! And it's not a plush experience. Trust me on this: eat something before you go because the concession stand features that pizza that looks like it's got boxed cheese, ketchup and a tasty cardboard crust. But the 2300 Arena attracts the most diverse crowd I've ever been in - rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, male, female, old and young: they're all there. And the fights are fun with a fast-paced environment.
You've got all the fight accoutrements: the trainers, the ringmaster, the judges, the entourages, the ring girls (who got a night off from working at Delilah's), and the funky pageantry of the fighters themselves. One guy came out with a mask covering his face, haha, and a number of them feature seriously strange boxing trunks. Most of the bouts are 4 or 6 rounds, they cover all weight classes, and the fighters are professionals but usually very new in their careers. We got to hang by friends and families of two fighters, one of whom won a tight bout and one of whom got knocked out in the first round. Oops.
Many of the fighters are local guys, but the one guy who got knocked out was from Harrisburg. If you've been to Harrisburg, you would understand why you might choose boxing as a profession. Nonetheless, this young middle-heavyweight was nicknamed "Gallito," which means many things: cocky, rowdy, bantam. It also means a joint or spliff, so there is the double entendre going. Gallito was undefeated and facing a guy who had lost 3 times. But he let down his guard right as his opponent swung heavily into his jaw, and he dropped like a rock. I've never seen a match with the need for a stretcher, but they brought one ringside. Luckily, Gallito was able to eventually pop up and strut his tail feathers, albeit well between his legs, out of the ring and the arena, a humbler and wiser spartan.
I had been traveling that week and had had about a combined 8 hours sleep for the two previous nights. While I hung in there for the boxing, I wasn't up to the traditional run to the original Tony Luke's for a late night cheesesteak after the bouts. I get the Boo of the Week for being such a wimp! I promise to do better next time. In fact, I'm going to hit Rita's on the way home, too.
Hey, I'll be back pretty soon with a rock write-up of the Teenage Fanclub show. I got snowed out of seeing the Beths - crap, are you kidding me, we have no snow all year until I want to go see a show? - and I got screwed up on the Meek Mill show and missed that. Your humble blogger has a lot of egg on his face right now. But don't go away, because I'm going to be back soon with a vengeance! Come on by whenever you get the chance and we'll hang out for a while, ok? Thanks and see you soon.
What? You want some music? Fine, I always try to accommodate. How about this - the most famous Philadelphia sports figure ever, the fictional Rocky Balboa, with the amazing Rocky theme song. Like-y, right?
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.