Nobody in surf knows boxing like the Santa Babs goofyfooter…
I’m guessing you might’ve slung your head into a bar yesterday to watch the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight. Who was going to miss the “Fight of the Century”? Not me, and I don’t know a damn thing about fighting, at least this century. I’ve read Mailer’s The Fight. I’ve seen When We Were Kings.
The purse was outrageous. Three hundred million split 60-40 to the American.
It was too difficult to squeeze inside the Sydney bar I’d chosen and so I watched from an outside window. I couldn’t hear the commentary but watched as the brave little Filipino crowded a noisy black man who seemed like a worn-out magician, waving his arms, shaking his head.
I imagined the black man tightening his rump and feeling rivulets of cold sweat trickling down his thighs. How could he stop the remorseless Filipino. The mostly Asian crowd was openly hostile to the black man.
After 12 rounds, the fighters were separated and the black man was announced the winner. The howls! I didn’t get it and so I called Bobby Martinez, Santa Barbara’s great goofyfooter, the former rookie of the year, winner of Teahupoo, Mundaka, a former world number five, to explain.
Why ask Bobby?
A few years back, I’d met up with Bobby at the Primo Boxing Gym in Santa Babs to watch him train. “He’s a natural athlete. When he wants to hurt you he can hurt you,” Joe Pommier, the formerly national-ranked boxer who runs the joint had told me. Joe said that Bobby, with just a little conditioning, could be a pro light-middleweight. “He’s 165-170 pounds (77 kilos) now. We’d get him down to 154 (69 kilos).”
And when you ask Bobby about the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight you know he’s serious about it. So serious that when he shells out the $100 to watch it on pay-per-view he doesn’t invite his pals around to watch. “I hate being in an environment where people talk too much during the fight. All of a sudden there’s al these commentators who, all of a sudden, think they know boxing,” says Bobby. “I really have to watch it.”
BeachGrit: How would you describe the two fighters?
Bobby: Manny’s an authentic fighter, such an authentic fighter. He comes to fight, throws tons of punches, is always in great shape, has really good footwork and he’s just an… offensive machine. Floyd? Fuck, he’s just super defensive. He’s just… defensive. That’s it. He tries to make you miss and then make you pay. That’s been his whole career. Defensive genius.
BeachGrit: It doesn’t make for sizzling viewing, howevs, all that defence.
Bobby: I like it, I like it ’cause I like to watch how he can do what he does. But it’s really boring. If you’ve seen one Mayweather fight you’ve seen ’em all. He does the same thing every fight. It’s definitely not my thing. He never goes and takes chances. He hasn’t knocked anyone out in a long time. You know he’s going to do just enough to win. A couple of punches to score rounds and that’s it. That’s how he’s always fought.
BeachGrit: How did you rate the fight? I found it stunningly dull…
Bobby: It was really boring, I thought. I liked it ’cause I’m a boxing fan but at the same time, I mean, what made it so boring was all the hype up to it: the amount you had to pay, the hype-up that was going on, you were going to think you were going to get fireworks and it was really a dull fight. Espe when it’s two best guys int hew odd you think that you get more than that. I kinda thought it was a dull right. Moments, third and the fourth round ,payqui looked like he wad figuring out floyd, getting closure, got him with a few shots that sutnn3d him, manny was ble to get some shots out on the ropes, a couple of rlurries, but then he never got close again. He figure out Paquio and readjusted and kinda just… ran away and sa couple of nice shots to win the round. ALl she wrote.
BeachGrit: How did you rate the fight?
Bobby: Fuck. I’ve been talking about it a lot. I’ve seen so many great fights, been to great fights in person. That fight last night is going to give boxing a horrible name. It was not action packed. There’s great fights in boxing every single year and it’s a bummer that so many people, who never watch boxing, bought the fight because of the hype. It sucks because has so much more to offer. There are so many better fights. I wouldn’t even rate that fight. I wouldn’t at all.
BeachGrit: Now here’s something? I was watching from a window without any commentary and it looked like Manny won easily? Why did Floyd get the decision?
Bobby: You know what? (Former world heavyweight champ) Evander Holyfield thought that Pacquiao won. (Click here.) It all goes to what style of fighting you like. Some people will that the guy who won the fight was guy pushing the action, pressuring, always coming forward and making the other guy fight. Pacquiao stunned Floyd and Floyd never stunned Pacquiao. It was Manny making the fight happen. So I can see how some people thought he won. It was obvious to me that Floyd had won but I can see how people hate that style of fighting. It’s hard to give a guy who rarely fights a victory. I can see how people find that hard because it’s so… boring.
BeachGrit: Whats beautiful about boxing? What do you love about it?
Bobby: What I find most appealing about it is the heart it takes to be these guys. It’s such a hard brutal sport and to have that grit to want to do that is just crazy to me. They fight for a living. They’re willing to put everything aside just to fight even though so many guys in boxing have died or been punched in the head so much they have Parkinsons or can’t speak properly and are completely punch drunk. To see these guys just say, fuck it, I’m fighting cause I want to fight, that’s what I love about it. On top of that, it’s its own little art within itself. Two hands. That’s it. I love watching a fighter when their back is up against the wall and how they end up fighting. You can see the dog in them and you see how good someone is. I love everything about it. I respect it all.