Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Could Have Been a Contender

Great fly-on-the-wall thing about a journeyman boxer on Setanta last night (with the above title). Tony Booth has been fighting professionally for 17 years, with 50 wins out of 162 fights. He takes fights on a day's notice, and tries to provide for his wife and kids through fighting alone. Yet he doesn't train (quite clearly), drinks like a fish and is not bothered about losing (on points). Watching him fight the young up-and-comers, there is no doubt he has the skill to have at least gone for a national title. But, as one of his pub mates says, "No one bothered with him." I found him very familiar. I also found him kind of heroic. I love characters like him. A journeyman (aka professional opponent) is way more interesting than a hyped up prospect surrounded by yes-men. I thought the filmmakers tried to insert some sadness into his depiction, but there really was none there. Pathos, but no sadness on his part.

Interesting to see the scalp of Omar Sheika on his record, who went on to have four world title fights and go the distance with Jeff Lacy, Markus Beyer, Eric Lucas and Glen Johnson (Joe Calzaghe knocked him out).

Watch it (in five parts):

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