Last night it was standing room only at the Premier Hotel in Albany for the long awaited stoush between Anthony Mundine and Danny Green.
The Premier was the only place in the whole town showing the fight so it was packed to the gills. Standing in a crowded smoky room, full of drunken, sweaty fight fans watching two blokes beat each other senseless on a 51cm TV is a cultural experience I haven’t had and seeing as how it was my birthday I asked Danelle if she’d mind if I spent the night chalking that one up. Permission granted.
The last big fight I made an effort to watch was in year 10 when Muhammad Ali took on Joe Frazier in the ‘Thrilla in Manila’. I was in a metalwork class that ran one period before recess and one period after. During the first period about 30 of us got together and decided we would go to one bloke’s home to watch the fight (which was in the period after recess) and then we’d come back to school at lunch time. The logic was that they couldn’t bust 30 of us for wagging. Sure enough Mr Vaughn’s metalwork class went from 30 to 5 over recess and at lunchtime Ross Munro came to our group and gave us a serve for leaving school premises. We all knew he couldn’t be buggered writing notes home to each of our parents.
So Danelle, the kids and I had dinner in the CBD cafÃƒÂ©, next to the pub (which was top notch) and then at 7.30, having been told by our waiter that the fight had started I baled on them to try and squeeze into the crowd and enjoy the action.
‘Where’s daddy going mum?’
‘To watch some sport”‘
How do you explain boxing to kids?”
Unfortunately it was the lead up fight that the waiter saw and the real deal didn’t kick in for another hour. So I found a spot in the doorway and made it my own for the next two hours. It was a great place to stand because it actually had some ventilation unlike the guts of the bar. The blokes nearby were fun to hang out with and it turned out to be a great night out.
The fight itself was something of an anti-climax. They were two very quick and skilled boxers who found it hard to hit each other so there was a lot of swinging and missing. I would have loved to see Mundine get belted, but Green couldn’t get close enough to lay a glove on him. Mundine reminded me of Ali in his prime – arrogant and evasive but good enough to come good on his boasts.
The pub ran out of beer around 9.00 and I left at 9.30 once the decision had been given and before the fights started.
I’m not sure how it all panned out, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be the hotel staff last night”