Beautiful Brutality: Part One
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (Oct 29, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
There is something magical about two combatants squaring off in a
fight, whether the two are going toe to toe in a ring or cage, it offers
up something much more than any other sport in the world. I most
certainly respect other sports organizations, such as the NFL, NBA, or
MLB, etc. But the manly art of self-defense, or also referred to as the
“sweet science”, has that special little ump to it. Maybe it is because
that it is man versus man; warrior takes on warrior kind of scenario.
All though you have a team in the fight game, when that bell rings, you
do not have somebody blocking for you, if you miss the beat, you taste
leather, and there is nobody to blame but yourself.
have been fighting since the beginning of time; we have waged war for
power, for protection, for land, and in the story of Cain and Abel,
jealousy. As soon as a baby can make a fist, and throw a punch, they
were smacking somebody for a toy. Long before there were gloves and
protective gear, Gladiator’s inflicted pain on one another for sport,
for their country, their land and their people. Hordes of people would
gather to witness the brutality; the gentlemen’s sport has not been so
The Evolution of Fighting
centuries prize fighting has been passed down from bare knuckle boxing,
to Olympic Amateur boxing in 1908, men were gloved, rounds and rules
were created, sanctioning bodies were created, champions where crowned,
promoters thrived, and the fans kept coming, to see the blood and the
Also as time went by, the fight game evolved, it
was not just two men trying to knock one another unconscious, strategies
were thought of, styles were created, and a fighter learned his craft
and tweaked his technique.
Boxers, brawlers, inside, outside fighters, counter punchers, everybody loves a slugger!
sport of boxing has filled arenas, stadiums, casino’s for years now,
legends have been born and names such as, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky
Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez,
and countless others, have been somewhat immortalized.
earliest memory of boxing was with my Papa Shields sitting in his
trailer in Central Texas, between 1982-1984, I could not tell you who
was fighting, but just the time with my Papa, was something else, and to
see his face while these two beat the piss out of each other, it amazed
me. Later on I found out through my mother that my granddad was a
pugilist in the US Army, that sparked something in me, a sense of pride,
a sense of, man, my papa, was a true fighter.
I was not
blessed to grow up in the day of Joe Luis, or take a seat at Madison
Square Garden back in the hay day, I did not get to cover great
match-up’s such has Haggler vs. Hearns, or Chavez vs. Taylor. But, boy
was I was electrified with “Kid Dynamite”, better known as, “Iron” Mike
Tyson. To see this man who did not even stand six foot tall, putting
fear in people’s hearts, dropping foe like flies, it took ahold of me, I
wanted to be like Mike, and not the one with the last name of Jordon.
people can debate the greatest era of boxing, the most popular weight
class, the legendary fighters, who the greatest is etc. My era, well, it
was the 90’s heavyweights.
Tommy Morrison, Lennox Lewis,
George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, just to name a few, and
most importantly, USA’s Tuesday Night Fights. Boxing was hot, it was
thriving, Tyson was about to get out of prison and the fight world was
ready for him to reign as he once did. But all though Tyson would once
be crowned champion again, the king would be denied any reign, Holyfield
took care of that in two unforgettable bouts, the later going down in
history as the “ear biting” incident. All though boxing was still
thriving with fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya, and Roy James Jr. A new
fighting experience was lurking in the shadows, and would take the
world on, and boxing head to head.
Mixed Martial Arts
was not a fan of Bruce Lee? We know many MMA disciplines have been
around for ages, but the world was out for a shock when the UFC came
rolling in as a sleeping giant.
My brother E.J. and I were
at our local video store in Odessa, TX, yes, I said video store. It was
around 1994, we came across something called The Ultimate Fighting
Championship, so we rented it, and all though we both enjoyed it, I
believe I was more blown away with the fighting styles and tactics. You
see, I spoke on earlier how the fight game evolved, it was brutal back
in the day, then regulated, and UFC seemed to bring back the
To witness a man knee his opponent in his
face, to ground and pound, or choke one another out, it captivated
people, sort of like a shock jock, the UFC was the Howard Stern of the
fight game, just not as raunchy.
So many men came from all
parts of the world and popularized the sports of boxing, a few like Joe
Luis, Larry Holmes, and Arturo Gatti became legends, and as boxing, the
UFC has had its share of notables.
Royce Gracie, Dan
Severn, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, and a handful of others have been
crowned legends in the MMA, and the popularity of the UFC has grown to
epic proportion. Smaller organizations have popped up everywhere; the
cool kids are the ones fighting in the cage. The Ultimate Fighter
reached out to a younger audience, suddenly being a tattooed, muscled
up, hair dyed freak, who fought in the cage, made you popular. A slew of
young men as well as women were wearing Tap Out T-Shirts. And with
brash, out spoken, Dana White heading the UFC, the debate begun…was the
UFC going to be the death of boxing?
Continued… Beautiful Brutality: Part Two Benny Henderson Jr
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