Happy Boxing Day

As I understand it, Boxing Day is one of those strange English Holidays that makes no sense at all since its purpose changed over time from giving gifts to the poor to watching old boxing matches.

Whenever my grandfather was visiting, we listened to every boxing match in the country on the radio–or later watched them on TV compliments of the Gillette Calvacade of Sports. So, because grandpa is probably keeping tabs on me, I’m watching the fight between Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay (as he was known at the time of the fight 1964 fight). I know how it turns out because, well, I was there when it happened–so to speak.

I hated boxing then and still hate it now, but I’m doing my duty watching Liston lose even though Clay was an underdog, some guy who spoke in poetry like: “If you want to lose your money, then bet on Sonny!”  I didn’t bet on anybody because grandpa said betting money on fights was wrong.

Some people in the States think Boxing Day is the day when people put stuff into boxes so they can re-gift it to the black sheep in the family a few years down the road. Now that, I could get behind more than watching Liston chasing Clay around the ring in the opening rounds of the fight.

While I supported Mohammad Ali’s (as Clay was later known) resistance to the draft, I thought that a little bit of his constant sing-song poetry went a long way. E.g.: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

I didn’t want to see any of it and I’m sure that it warped my life. Goodness knows why I watched the Rocky movies. Duty, as I said.






2 thoughts on “Happy Boxing Day

  1. I had to look up “boxing day.” Back when I was a fan of British literature (both high and low brow), I knew what it was. So now I know again. It’s about giving the servants the day off and boxing up gifts for them to give to take home with them. I do this, don’t you? Send my servant home for the day, laden with boxes of gifts?

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