Oquendo, King and the Game of Thrones

I never got around to watching Game of Thrones. Breaking Bad. I’m resigned to my fate as a person daunted by ‘seasons’, not excited by them. A box set binger I am not. Maybe I’m an outlier. Just a nudge beyond the appropriate demographic.

The idea of playing catch up, of sitting down with 120 hours of plot sprawling out before me holds no attraction. Is that how I want to spend days of my dwindling future and aren’t all tales merely derivatives of just seven stories anyway? I’m 48 this year. I don’t have time.

Fres Oquendo is already 48. In the past six years, the period since he last boxed in a prizefight, the moon faced heavyweight may well have consumed every drama the various platforms had to offer. He may be a TV critic beneath a cryptic pseudonym. A pointed and acidic reviewer as adept at slinging zingers as he once was jabs and left hooks.

One thing is clear, he hasn’t been fighting. He argues he’s tried, but he has an unfortunate habit of choosing fighters who fail pee tests.

He has, through his status as a subordinate WBA heavyweight title holder, become synonymous with inactivity and become the inadvertent king of the absurd. He didn’t ask for the title, the official one, although it is conceivable the WBA may soon be dispensing belts to those who do just ask, and send a cheque that doesn’t bounce. Prompting fighters and promoters to make meaningful fights is, after all, a bit of a faff.

The enduring and persistent Jake Donavan of BoxingScene.com reports today that Fres has penned a new plot twist, writing himself back into a show he was long since discarded from. The Heavyweights. It is a long running soap which is returning to form after a decade in the doldrums.

Of the seven available stories it is said all yarns can be categorised beneath, his attempt to prevent the Charr v Bryan contest on Saturday night, a fight for a version of the WBA title he was once the custodian of, probably falls somewhere between revenge and tragedy. Oquendo is pursuant of damages from Don King, for those lost and cancelled fights, a path plotted with large footprints and strewn with heavyweight carcasses but one the Puerto Rican is determined to tread nevertheless.

In a division in which luminaries Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are reinvigorating a tired franchise, the mention of names like Oquendo, Charr and boxing’s greatest huckster Don King is perhaps best met with memes of Bobby Ewing climbing out of a shower, and yet, here we are.

Whether Charr and Bryan fight on Saturday remains to be seen such is the chaos that has hung on the show since its inception. Whether the WBA belt, whatever it stands for, will be strapped about the winner is also unknown.

I’d encourage the morbidly curious to read Jake’s summary of the story so far, it is the definitive guide for latecomers and one can only hope, this latest episode of the WBA heavyweight belt spin off is as ridiculous as the story line is ever allowed to become.

You see 48, well nearly, and still enduringly optimistic.


Boxing opinion and insight by David Payne

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