Springs Toledo is one of the sport of boxing's leading wordsmiths, and his works have received critical acclaim all over the world. The following is an except selected by Toledo himself from his latest collection of boxing essays called “In The Cheap Seats”, (released earlier this month by Tora Book Publishing.)
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Excerpt from “Peu Exposés”
[Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux @ Madison Square Garden]:
At one minute and thirty-three seconds into the eighth round, the drama show ended . . . Lemieux had gotten too close and Golovkin, slashing away, missed a right hand and followed up with a left hook that crashed into Lemieux's right upper abdominopelvic quadrant -his liver. Rows sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen stood up.
Have you ever been hit like that by a professional boxer? I have. It makes whatever they do in the MMA a springtime dalliance. It can give you instant PTSD. The worst thing about it isn't the pain, it's the cruel delay before the pain. You get just enough time to think about it; two seconds of panic that unmans the roughest and the toughest. Most guys try vainly to muffle a bellow that sounds like a gutted steer, though I recall squeaking once. A heavyweight contender in the 1990s was hit with just such a hook and said it made him fart all over the ring.
Lemieux gritted his teeth. Then he turned purple and folded inward, momentarily forgetting the live danger in front of him. And, despite self confidence that only began to fray twenty-five minutes earlier when the first hook struck his flank, despite his drive to beat the odds and become the best, despite his many victories, months of training and years spent steeling his resolve, he signaled his surrender: as he stumbled backward, he turned his head and looked at the referee. It was just a glance, but the referee saw it for what it was and jumped in to rescue him.
“What'd Lemieux say to the ref?” someone behind me asked.
“Help me,” I said.