Tuesday, 23 December 2008
This last year has been another strong one for the gym, many fights, many wins, few defeats. But in the age of hundreds of plastic titles held by plastic champions and agents obsessed with win/loss ratios without any qualification of those details; and a public in love with the idea of an undefeated fighter, confusing undefeated with undefeatable, enamoured with the fantasy of the invincible man, it's sometimes easy to forget that fighting is above all about fighting, not winning. Winning is the objective, and though inseperable from, still not necessarily the point. Everybody likes victory, everyone wants to win a fight, but how many "fighters" really, genuinely love fighting? Not the conclusion, the actual fight? A real fighter should be disappointed by an easy fight, the way a real fight fan is disappointed after observing a one sided encounter.
Paul Jenkins told me his favourite ever fight was his bout against Arni Isaakson, a bout which Jenkins lost, and was at points really up against it. But still, even though he'd won titles galore and fought in huge arenas, his favourite fight was from a minor untelevised event with a couple of hundred spectators - and he lost. What does that tell you?
Crezio wears a piece of custom jewelery sometimes on a chain around his neck, depicting him fighting Alan Carvalho, and there he is, immortalised in Silver, stuck on the bottom, getting smashed to bits. I've asked him a lot about his bouts, and the one he speaks most proudly of was the loss against Carvalho.
Tiarks is always keen to remind us that the Champion makes the title not the other way around. "It's about who you fought and when you fought them." Names mean much more than numbers.
Having said all that, I plan to pass 2009 in the same fashion as 2008, and never put my hands on a runner up trophy.