Monday, November 09, 2009

Ode[s] To Chad The Champ

-- Emily Harney/Fightwire Images

What a beautiful boxer Chad is. To see him use his shoulders to roll and tuck his chin behind while using a beautiful jab to keep his opponent on the outside, then allowing him to come in and eat the uppercuts. All I could think about was remembering Chad as a young 10 yr old boy fighting in our amateur program. I knew the boy would become the champ.
-- Joe Cusano [at right], professional referee

I enjoyed the cat and mouse of Dawson-Johnson. I appreciate any boxer that another boxer just can't hit. It is exciting to watch the clock tick and wonder if the dog will catch the rabbit before the final bell...

Execution is the key word there. That was flawless. Only a purist can really understand and LOVE that.

I loved it from beginning to end. Especially Chad's jab.

And Chad did show he was the best. Not knocking a guy out doesn't mean you aren't the best. If anything, beating a man by clear decision takes MUCH MORE SKILL than knocking someone out.

-- Iceman John Scully, trainer, ESPN analyst and former light heavyweight contender

The Way He Would Slip Punches
Like A Speedboat Navigating A Cove


Appalled and thrilled is what I wrote for its alliteration
but that was pure showmanship, shimmy shuffle
and shoulder roll, not true to the rapt attention I had
trying to pin the technical terms - jab and cross,
hook and uppercut - onto the bodies of two men
who glided across the roped off ring trying to land
blows. Watching the fight, I watched myself watch
the fight, noticing how in spite of myself raw sounds
gurgled up from my throat. Was it to help exhort
Bad Chad Dawson, New Haven's finest, rip into his older
opponent? Or in appreciation of the way he would
slip punches like a speedboat navigating a cove?
Perhaps it was a muscle memory of the only time
I stepped into the ring, with a buddy, to playfully
grapple, until I got hit with a roundhouse in the ear,
which clicked some primal button I could not unblink,
and charged with animal aggression I never suspected
I possessed, I dropped my good friend to his knees?
Or maybe finally it was being colonized by the crowd,
in synchronicity with the growls and curses that made
me yell out in spite of myself. I could have been in
Baghdad 7,000 years ago, where an archaeologist
discovered a Mesopotamian stone tablet engraved with
two boxers preparing to fight, else in 18th century London
eating meat pies and drinking ales while watching
a bare knuckle prize fight. Somehow each feint and parry,
each exchange of fists, encapsulated an essential
idea about brotherhood and brutality that I could not
put into the right words. All I know is that when the final
bell sounded, cauliflower ear and nerve-cell damage
in the periphery, the ring overrun with promoters, corner
men, men in tuxedos and blue latex gloves, cameras
on cranes, the ring girl in her low-cut dress, I was fixated
on the two fighters with their gloved hands raised in the air.
I was galvanized yet not quite satisfied. I wanted more.

Ravi Shankar, associate professor of English and poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University, attended his first professional boxing match on Nov. 7, 2009. Shankar will co-host a day and evening of poetry, prose and pugilism Jan. 15, 2010 at The Hartford Club.

  • Poised Chad Did What He Wanted

  • Dawson Still On Top

  • Review Of Shankar's Instrumentality

  • Darien Public Library Notes Young Writers Competition, Triple Knockout Event

  • -- Photo By Bob Thiesfield
    For The Connecticut Young Writers Trust,
    Courtesy Of The Hartford Club

    Iceman John Scully And Poet Gaby Calvocoressi
    Tune Up For Jan. 15, 2010 Hartford Club Event

  • RUMBLE @ THE HARTFORD CLUB: Gaby Versus The Iceman, A CT Young Writers Triple Knockout Event ...

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