Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wally at Ringside

I don't know much about the fight game. All I know about the Sweet Science comes from A. J. Liebling and the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette's excellent Jim Bailey. But I know a little something about the English language. So let's go to Wally Hall's account of last night's championship bout between our own Jermain Taylor and game challenger Kassim Ouma.

First Things First: "...[N]o sooner did Taylor do his traditional wiping of his feet than a reverberating Hog call dialed the excitement up two levels." The traditional wiping of his feet? Did the fight go down in a Mosque?

Ouma struggled early: " ...[t]he Ouchman (Ouma's last name begins in ou. Get it? The first two letters in the word ouch are...hell, never mind ) was taking more shots than a duck hunter from Los Angeles." Like I said, never mind.

I don't need to actually interview a gamer to know what's going on in his head: " In the fourth, Taylor twice put enough leather upside Ouma's head that while his eyes might not have glassed over, he definitely knew the definition of pain." I am just now re-reading this eye-rubber of a column. Wally wrote "glassed." He might have meant glazed. Then again maybe he didn't.

Unlike Jermain, with Ouma it is all about the money: " Taylor landed a flurry...(and the challenger got hurt) but he was determined to earn his $ 800,000 and kept coming."

Lord, it was hot in there: " Sweat ripped off the fighters in the critical eighth (round). "

A Battle of Wills: " ...[t]he massive number of punches was taking its toll."

And my favorite: (In the Ninth Round) " Ouma came out like a man behind on points-and he was-..."

My little brother John, a noted expert on boxing, was at the fight. He said that the speed and fitness of the boxers was amazing to behold. He told me that Ouma was incredibly brave despite getting clobbered all night by Jermain. I learned more about the fight from listening to John than reading Wally.

I don't know what Wally wants for Christmas this year . But if he is going to pretend to be anything other than a shill for Jermain, he should order Liebling's " A Neutral Corner" and actually read it before he writes another boxing piece.

He might learn something about how to write as well.

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