Instances of boxing commentators making you laugh, and I mean full on guffaw, are few and far between. There was the time Glen McCrory, in a statement borne out of an affinity with his old sparring partner and instruction from the paymaster for whom he was speaking, believed Mike Tyson could “turn back the clock for one night only” before being pummelled from pillar to post by Lennox Lewis and there was also the time Adam Smith showed a video of Jawaid Khaliq to Vernon Forrest who opted to fight Shane Mosley rather than the Nottingham taxi driver. Last night, in the deeper shadows of Eurosport, Steve Holdsworth and Bob Mee had me spitting out my late night cornflakes.
I tuned in to watch the Live Boxing from France, to find a Middleweight contest between Karim Boukeroui and Chamil Ismailov over six heartily fought rounds. It was an enjoyable encounter with a busy committed attitude from both fighters, Steve and his colour man Bob Mee, I assume it was Bob Mee, were offering creditable commentary and it further enriched the fight. Both men know boxing and for once Steve was in positive mood, perhaps enthused that he wasn’t alone as he so often is on his Eurosport berth.
The fight, according to Holdsworth and Mee, pitted the tall rangy prospect Ismailov versus the stockier, looser limbed journeymen Boukeroui. By the close of the six, it appeared Boukeroui could force the upset – a man who lost four of his last five and without a victory since 2005 and then in a moment of high-quality he ensured he did. Ismailov was felled in the sixth by an uppercut that would have decked most middleweights that allowed him the room to land the shot. He rose, miraculously but was dropped by a short right hook and the fight was waved off.
So a minor upset, but where is the humour you ask? Well, the result was announced in French and Boukeroui’s hand raised only for the French screen titles to flash up Ismailov’s name as the winner. Ah well, a small technical oversight by someone expecting the prospect to prevail and extended his record to 4-0. But, hang on, what’s this – why has Boukeroui got a shirt with Ismailov written on the back?
Come on Steve, you’re known for your honesty, for calling a spade a spade.
Surely, you have to admit the faux pas Steve? Bob….? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
“So coming up next we head to the featherweight division…..”
Classic TV. I switched at this point and headed for the BBC’s Life On Mars set in 1973. Steve and Bob had commentated on six rounds with the fighters the wrong way around. Hope for us all.