Yo youngsters, welcome back to BRP. It’s been busy around here. While I generally keep my posts to things music-related, this one is Philly-related. Yep, back to the ring for a study of the sweet science: professional boxing at the 2300 Arena in South Philly.
I had never been to a boxing match in my life until about a year ago. But I went and had a surprisingly good time. When the opportunity presented itself yet again, I pounced.
I know what you’re thinking: boxing is bloody and brutal. Who wants to see two roughnecks pound on each other until they ooze fluids? Aahhh, yes, my original thoughts, too. Then I went and reality quickly dispelled the Hollywood b.s. There is no “cut my eyelid and let me keep going” kind of stuff, and no screams of “Adrienne” going on here. Nope.
So what is there? Well, a hugely diverse crowd for one. Rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, young, old, male and female. It’s hugely interesting just to ogle the crowd. Then there are the trappings and showmanship of boxing:
the tuxedo-clad announcer:
The ring girls:
The fighters and their entourages:
The title belts:
When the bouts begin, there is a serious amount of athleticism and training that is brought to bear. It’s really interesting to see the two boxers size each other up, sometimes make faces at or talk to their opponent, and to watch their form and style. The ability to put power into a compact punch, to bob and weave and not take the ferocious hit, and to spot vulnerabilities in your opponent, are all very much on display. It’s also a fact that size matters: reach is important, and little guys, even with stout bodies, have a harder time landing punches than their bigger opponents.
A lot of the boxers are from Philly, which is fun because they bring their own fans. And every boxer has a nickname: Boots, Ice Cold, J Rob, etc. It’s clichéd and its cool, too.
The 2300 Arena is worth seeing. It’s more warehouse than venue, but it’s also easy to get really good seats. We were in the 2d row, and location has its advantages. I like being close at concerts and I like being close to fights. Basically for the same reason – great sight lines and feeling like you are part of the action..
I don’t think I would want to go to live boxing too often – once a year is enough - and I definitely wouldn’t want to do the huge marquee fights in Vegas. That appeals to me like going to a stadium concert. Expensive, full of nitwits, long lines for everything and bad sight lines. No thanks.
The one last great thing about the 2300 Arena is that it’s about 2 blocks from the original Tony Luke’s. Yeah, you know, one of those cheesesteak places where the person taking your order rips your head off if you don’t do it right, but that also serves a mean steak. We partook, filled our bellies, and all was right with the world.
I’ll catch up with you soon with more music. I just saw two shows, Todd Rundgren and LCD Soundsystem. I was supposed to see Morrissey, too, but someone in the band got sick and the show got postponed. Whatever happened to the show must go on? I guess that’s just for those who work for The Man.
You take it easy, check back often, and get ready for some more great times at BRP. You know I love you, right?
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.