(A morning brainstorming session on failure, pulp-fiction and boxing.)
Whenever I feel down or defeated, I watch boxing documentaries. It’s a strange ritual, I have to admit, but it gets me through the tough days. I don’t know why boxing! Maybe because it gets too real in boxing. Maybe because with each round, these fighters start dropping all the things that don’t matter in life, one by one. They stop caring about how they look on TV, or their bank accounts or why their ex-wives have left them. And somewhere through the 7th or 8th round, it becomes all about killing the other guy (and hopefully staying alive in the process).
On October 1st, 1975 two legendary boxers met face to face in an event to be named Thrilla in Manila. Mohammed Ali vs. Joe -Smoking- Frazier. These two fighters stepped in the ring with the intention of killing each others. They hated each others so much. All the bloody history, drama and press culmination exploded in 14 spectacular rounds ended with Joe’s corner man throwing the towel even though Joe wanted to fight the last round. The whole world stood against Joe’s coach and how he shouldn’t have stopped the fight. He later said he had no regrets whatsoever, because he’s seen 8 men die in the ring and didn’t want to add Frazier to the list.
This means that there’s a line, somewhere among this madness. There’s a line to throw in the towel (even when the fight becomes more important than your life) because sometimes the consequences can be severe. Because we live to fight another day.
But the one million dollar question (or 5 million dollar in Joe Frazier’s case): where is this line?
To be continued …