Back Alley Turf Wars: Killer Odors and Backseat Coaches

Categories: Flotsam

Back Alley Turf Wars 2 sounds like a no-holds-barred wrestling match held in someone’s backyard. Actually, it's a boxing tournament.

I figured that this would be a small event with a couple of people rooting for their favorite fighters, but once I stepped in to the gym, I found it was packed with people. A distinct odor of sweat and a little B.O. wafted by -- not a killer smell, but it wasn’t daisies either. Thankfully the back gates were open.


The first match, between Angel Martinez and Abdulah Rashaid, was tedious. It was a good match but Martinez would strike back sparingly, and he played defensively for the entire match. Still, the excitement in the crowd was palpable as people yelled out what each player should be doing to get an advantage over their opponent.

I understand coaches yelling stuff like that, but it still seems odd when spectators do it. If I was in the ring, aside from getting knocked out pretty quickly, I would find that distracting.

My favorite match was between Cedric Kemp and Treven Gray. The fight had everything that makes for a good show: dodging, blows connecting and near knockouts. At one point, the pugilists were bouncing of the ropes like they were ping pong balls, so those sitting in the front rows were cowering as the entangled fighters hit the ropes.

During the brief moments between the fights, the DJ played music straight out of the 80s. I have never heard the Rocky theme played so many times, apparently all inspirational boxing music was created in the 80s. As the night wore on, the DJ played some more contemporary music, but by then all I was hearing was the introductory notes to “Gonna Fly Now.”

The event had wound down by the end of the night, people started leaving and only a few more amateur fights were left. Still outside of the gym people were lining up against the glass windows to catch a glimpse of the fights. The security guards didn’t care by then.

Even the most gung-ho antiviolence advocate cannot help but cheer as a one fighter lands a good punch on another. As I was watching the fights, I thought that maybe countries should settle their differences through boxing matches. Just imagine world leaders beating the crap out of each other. Now there’s something I think everyone would endorse. --Elvis Ramirez


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