BACK IN THE HEAD­LINES: BOX­ING VS. MAR­TIAL ARTS

Black Belt - - EDITOR'S NOTE - — Robert W. Young, Edi­tor-in-Chief

The wake of the box­ing bout in which Floyd May­weather Jr. took on Conor 0F*UHJRU LV FRQWLQXLQJ WR ZDVK XS RQ WKH EHDFK HYHQ WKRXJK WKH ÀJKW took place on Au­gust 26, 2017 — more than three months be­fore this is­sue of Black Belt went to print. More than any­thing else, it seems to be pre­cip­i­tat­ing talk of other big matchups in a way the Milo Savage-Gene LeBell ÀJKW LQ DQG WKH $UW -LPPHUVRQ 5R\FH *UDFLH PDWFK LQ WKH 8)& QHYHU seemed to.

The big bout was won by May­weather, of course, with a 10th-round TKO. No VXUSULVH WKHUH UHDOO\ JLYHQ WKH FKDPS·V UHFRUG JRLQJ LQWR LW +RZHYHU PRVW pun­dits give McGre­gor great credit for nearly go­ing the dis­tance against the FKDPS DQG DOO WKUHH MXGJHV KDG WKH PL[HG PDUWLDO DUWLVW ZLQQLQJ WKH ÀUVW URXQG

Not long af­ter­ward, another “celebrity death match” started mak­ing head­lines, and it im­me­di­ately got the mar­tial arts com­mu­nity talk­ing. It all started when re­tired heavy­weight boxer Ge­orge Fore­man, 68, an­nounced in Oc­to­ber that he was chal­leng­ing aikido ex­pert and movie star Steven Sea­gal, 65, to a 10-rounder in which any tech­nique short of weapons would be al­lowed. When I in­ter­viewed Da­mon Gil­bert for his fea­ture in this is­sue, the sub­ject nat­u­rally came up.

´:KHQ ,·P ,·P JRLQJ WR KDYH HQRXJK FKDOOHQJHV ³ WKH\·UH FDOOHG KLJK choles­terol, high blood pres­sure and the stress of two teenagers prob­a­bly be­ing PDUULHG DQG KDYLQJ P\ JUDQGNLGV ³ VR , ZRXOGQ·W ZDQW DQ\ DGGLWLRQDO FKDOOHQJHV DW WKDW DJH μ KH VDLG ODXJKLQJ ´%XW LW FHUWDLQO\ ZRXOG EH D XQLTXH ÀJKW ZLWK D SXQFKHU DQG DQ DLNLGR VW\OLVW ,·G SUREDEO\ ZDWFK LW ULJKW DIWHU , VDZ Un­der Siege and cooked some chicken on my Fore­man Grill.”

$IWHU D IHZ PRPHQWV RI LQWURVSHFWLRQ *LOEHUW JRW VHULRXV ´$OWKRXJK ,·P YHU\ FXULRXV , KRSH LW GRHVQ·W KDSSHQ μ KH VDLG ´%RWK DUH LFRQV LQ WKHLU ÀHOGV 7KHUH·V QR QHHG IRU WKHP WR ÀJKW DW WKHLU DJH , GRQ·W WKLQN LW·V DERXW WKH PRQH\ )RUHPDQ must do well with the grill, and Sea­gal has made all those movies. I hope nei­ther one of them needs the money. They both have been there and done that. They have noth­ing to prove to any­body.”

Gil­bert and I, both be­ing a few years past “young buck” sta­tus, then be­gan WDONLQJ DERXW WKH SRWHQWLDO KHDOWK FRQVHTXHQFHV RI KDYLQJ ROGHU PHQ ÀJKW IXOO FRQWDFW )RUHPDQ VHHPV WR KDYH D EUDLQ WKDW·V VWLOO ZRUNLQJ ULJKW GHVSLWH un­doubt­edly hav­ing ab­sorbed a ton of punches over the years, and Sea­gal re­mains as ar­tic­u­late as ever — which means both should con­sider them­selves lucky, I said, re­call­ing the plight of Muham­mad Ali.

“Ex­actly,” Gil­bert said. “With the con­cus­sions and the long-term ef­fects you can VHH ODWHU LQ OLIH LW·V VFDU\ μ

Not long af­ter Gil­bert and I chat­ted about that pos­si­ble matchup, another one KLW WKH QHZV 5HWLUHG ER[HU 2VFDU 'H /D +R\D SURFODLPHG LQ 1RYHPEHU WKDW KH FRXOG NQRFN RXW 0F*UHJRU LQ WZR URXQGV 'H /D +R\D LV WZR GHFDGHV younger than those scrappy se­niors, so the health con­cerns would be re­duced, WKRXJK QRW HOLPLQDWHG ,·P SUHWW\ VXUH KRZHYHU WKDW WKH JXDUDQWHHG PLOOLRQ WKDW 0D\ZHDWKHU UHFHLYHG DQG HYHQ 0F*UHJRU ·V UHSRUWHG PLQLPXP RI mil­lion, would be more than enough to over­ride any wor­ries. The amounts are VR VWDJJHULQJ WKDW QR GRXEW ZH·OO EH KHDULQJ IURP RWKHU IRUPHU ÀJKWHUV ZKR DUH look­ing to cash in no mat­ter the cost.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.