Column: A fight that’s making boxing history

Are you enjoying the big fight? I am. I lost interest in boxing in the 1990s, soon after Mike Tyson fell from grace, but I’m enjoying the sport once again, thanks to all the jabs and fancy footwork inHillaryclinton1
this epic Obama-Clinton clash.

The first round went to Barack Obama, known in boxing circles as The Barackuda. He landed dozens of punches and also followed an unusual boxing tactic: stomping on Hillary Clinton’s toes. So dominant was he that when the bell rang, she ran to her corner, sat down and cried. "Boo hoo! He hurt me!"

Everyone thought she’d throw in the towel and run to the locker room, but she’s a real fighter. Her trainer, Bill, got her ready, wiping away her tears, treating the cut below her eye and pumping her up with words such as "Go get him, girl!" and "He’s a man. Hit him where it hurts!"

Obama came out strong in Round Two with a series of jabs that convinced boxing experts he’d easily win the round. But with a minute left, Clinton stunned everyone with a well-aimed punch that almost floored Obama. Poor guy didn’t know what hit him. "Ouch!" he said, staggering into the ropes. "Thank God I wore a cup."

Before he could recover, she nailed him again with an uppercut to the chin, then elbowed him in the gut. “Is that allowed?” Obama asked, but the female referee was distracted by Trainer Bill, who was flashing his undershorts at her. “Hey ref,” Bill shouted. “How’d you like to handle these boxers?”

After splitting the first two rounds, the fighters were determined to win Round Three and came out with a flurry of punches, prompting some boxing analysts to start comparing the fight to the classic 1975 Ali-Frazier clash, known as the Thrilla in Manila. The main difference, of course, was that Ali and Frazier didn’t fight dirty.

In the middle of the round, Obama rocked Clinton with a punch to
the ribs, then smiled at a group of culinary workers cheering for him.
"My round," he said. "Experience I may lack, but I sure can talk smack."

But as he turned back to
face Clinton, she socked him in the face, causing his mouthpiece to go
flying all the way back to Chicago. "Not so fast, pretty boy," she
said. "By the time I’m through with you, you’ll be too ugly to go on
Oprah."

Clinton did so well in the second and third rounds that Ring
magazine put her on the cover, under the headline "Girl Got Game." She
now holds a slight lead over Obama, but this fight is expected to go the
distance, with a knockout as unlikely as a kiss on the cheek. "I’m
still in this fight," Obama said, recuperating between rounds. "It
ain’t over till Oprah sings."

While some analysts are calling it the "Fight of the Century," it
might just be the "Fight of Eternity." Never before has a black man
fought a white woman with so much at stake. The winner
goes to the championship round, where he or she will face the winner of
the McCain-Huckabee fight. John McCain is in the lead, but Mike Huckabee is much tougher than expected, benefiting from the vast fighting experience of his trainer, Chuck Norris. "You can take the old man!" Norris keeps shouting. "This is boxing, not bridge."

McCain is trying to follow in the footsteps of George Foreman, who won the heavyweight title at age 45. Though he’s 71, more than a quarter century older, McCain’s got a lot of fight in him, hitting Huckabee with one hand, while keeping the other hand firmly on his walking stick. Every now and then, he uses the stick to smack a spectator trying to sneak into the ring, someone named Mitt Romney.

Nobody knows who’s going to win the title, but one thing is clear: Boxing fans will be on the edge of their seats.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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