It was a beautiful summer night in Brooklyn. Even a ride on the wobbly bus down Flatbush Street filled me with an outrageous sense of love for the city, a post-pandemic love of a hot summer night of battles, a love that would eventually fade and frustrate with the many aggravations that had taken place. Through the constant meltdown of my Brooklyn colleagues, but who haven’t gotten there yet. There was a lot of fights at Barclays before COVID, but there hasn’t been much since then. The plaza, at the confluence of Atlantic and Flatbush, was a magnet for testosterone — pulsing testosterone, injecting testosterone, and frustrating testosterone guiding men into fights, worship and screaming, testosterone leaving on sticky floors. “What if my kids don’t talk to me? They are 16 and 18. They are teenagers. They want to go out and light up. He was waiting at a traffic light to cross the street,” a 40-year-old said to another man, waiting at a traffic light to cross the street. “When I was a teenager I didn’t care either. You can’t make them do anything. Who has time for dad? Did not matter. So what.” He was going to fights.
When the lights go out for SHOWTIME, you can become hypnotized by standing behind the press section and watching a long line of screens tuned simultaneously to the same photo of a boxer jumping from foot to foot, which was shown live on Showtime. It causes dizziness. There were three fights on the card. The first was Rances Barthelemy, who had a pile of braids on top of his already tall head that made him cartoonishly superior to his opponent, Gary Antuanne Russell, a lightweight welterweight not to be confused with Gary Russell Jr. The older brother, who was a world-class lightweight, not to be confused with his other three (3) siblings, all of whom were called “Gary Russell” by their father, Gary Russell, Sr., who recently passed away. I’m not in a position to judge what anyone calls his five sons, but I can tell you that Gary Russell Jr. had faster, more polished hands than his younger brother, although they both fight in a fast hands/flat feet style that’s heavily dependent on The ability to defeat an opponent with a punch. Barthelemy and Gary A. Russell were both Southern cowboys, and for much of the fight they would stand directly in front of each other, and Barthelemy, punching the shorter man down, would turn his whole body and shoot a perfectly sinister left. , which he might miss, and then Russell pops up and throws a solid right hook, which he’ll miss, too. Then they will do the reset and do it again. In the end, Russell thought of jumping up a bit and clipped Barthelemy to his face with this hook and knocked him to the ground forward. He got dizzy but got up again, ready to fight, but the referee stopped the fight, for reasons that neither Barthelemy nor coach Barthelemy nor anyone else in the ring could detect. There were a lot of boos. Russell might have won either way, but it looks like he’s not quite ready to spend prime time in this tough division. Lots of time sparring with other Gary Russell, perhaps.
If you ask me who had the most fans out there, I’ll be honest and tell you it was Adam Konaki, the Polish heavyweight from Brooklyn who nicknamed “Babyface” who looks a lot like a big bald kid with a beard. There is a strong contingent of Polish boxing fans in NYC, and they reliably dunk every appearance of who the NYC Polish fighter is, meaning, at the moment, Adam Konaki. All Polish fans wear red shirts and white and red scarves, sometimes young women draw Polish flags on their cheeks and hold middle-aged Polish men around the arena drinking beer, cheering and chanting KOW-NAS-SKEEE! Babyface is a very legitimate heavyweight who has been around for years who beat several level 10 heavyweights before losing his last two fights to Robert Helenius, who is, to be fair, a massive type of black metal wizard beast. Kownacki has a good chin, very fair strength and throws a good number of punches for heavy weight and is generally a steady forward grinder who has somehow managed to fight at a good pace for 10 or 12 rounds in a row despite having the physique of a guy who drinks a lot of beer and probably doesn’t work out Much. But on this night, Konaki seemed to lose strength and lose a decision to Ali Eren Demirzen, also a Turkish heavyweight who fought in the same style but had more stamina. It was a frustrating moment for hundreds of Polish fans in their red jerseys, but there have been many doomed Polish fighters in history, so this was nothing new. Konaki is 33 years old and has fought a lot of brutal wars with the big guys. His forehead was extremely swollen with a scar that seemed to be swallowing his eyes, which had receded into tiny lump points. After the quarrel he smiled and blood drips from his left eye and said that he wanted to retire with a win, but that he had to talk to his wife about it. He’ll be loved in Brooklyn for the next 50 years.
The main event was Benavidez, the man once shot with another bullet, against Danny Garcia, an extremely reliable first-class middleweight for the past decade, who in every fight delivers consistent product, like a casual fast food chain . He has a dark beard, slightly pointed eyebrows and a crazy dad who trains him, which I am sure instilled a number of undiagnosed and devastating emotional malignancies in his psyche. Garcia has power in both hands, a left cracking hook that rotated some lower opponents about 180 degrees when they grabbed the jaw, and a precise and well-thought-out approach. He wants you to come over to him, and then he wants to kick you out with a counter punch. The drawback of this approach is that it allows the opponent to dictate the pace of the fight. You can beat Dani Garcia, but you have to put it on. He does not make small mistakes, but when he is late in fights due to not throwing enough punches, he cannot do so; Counter-punching is his nature, temperament, not just choice. Asking them to suddenly move forward and throw hundreds of punches is like asking a crocodile to turn into a porpoise. It is not the type of change that can be withdrawn.
Jose Benavides Jr. has a brother, David, who is slightly older than him and whose career is on a promising trajectory, in part because he was never shot in the leg. They both show a kind of hand-to-hand play style, standing up straight and taking the next shot and then retaliating with amazing giveaways. Despite this, Jose has always been more inclined to rip your guts apart with powerful body shots. It’s a long-armed athlete’s body punch, or it was. It still looks like a wolf now, but the wolf’s soul is gone. He stood in front of Garcia, mocked him, shrugged his shoulders whenever he was beaten, and boastfully put his hands on the ground, sticking out his tongue. But what he didn’t do was throw many punches. Spring went from his broken leg. He would often counter him with a long, groggy blow that he extended by bending over his front foot, a telltale sign that his legs were too slow to move his feet with the rest of his body. Garcia would drop these, always, dance back, throw a few punches in return, just enough to win exchanges, and stay ahead in every round. Benavids were like retired gymnasts posing and displaying pure masculinity as a substitute for the bodily gifts that time has robbed of them, and who try to brave opponents when grace leaves them behind. Danny Garcia isn’t the type to fall in love with this bullshit. He would slip and throw his few punches, spin and reset himself, and that was all it took. There were moments when Benavides started moving his hands and showing flashes of the fighter he was before, but he could never keep the fighting distance where he wanted to, because he couldn’t explode from his hind leg. Garcia didn’t have to risk much. He learned how to win battles for points. He is an adult boxer. In the final round, he danced backwards, pumped his fist, and bounced on his toes as if to show Benavidez what his healthy legs looked like. Garcia is a wolf, too. But he knows how to satisfy with a proper meal.
I guess the lesson is not to get fired. If you are a fighter, then you have to grow a peaceful life.