When watching boxing or a Muhammad Ali documentary almost every guy will think, "You know, I could do that." You realize you couldn't land a punch or anything, but you could probably last a round or two. Hell, who hasn't been punched before? And they use gloves in boxing, right? That ring's pretty big, with some fancy footwork you should be able to run out the clock for a while, take a punch or two, collect your huge paycheck and go home.
I'm a doughy, out of shape 40 year old, and I still secretly think I could box professionaly. I don't have these delusions about other sports. I know I could never complete a pass in the NFL. I would have no chance of making a layup in the NBA. Hell, I probably couldn't even sink a free throw, what with everyone shouting and waving crap at me.
But boxing? I could totally do that. Worst case scenario, I get knocked out within seconds, and I have a story for the rest of my life. I could be watching Mike Tyson in The Hangover on my wall-sized TV and legitimately say, "I fought that guy once."
"That's what they tell me. How else do you think I could afford this gold-plated house?"
I'd like to think that when my opponent and I tapped our gloves in the beginning, I'd do that "fake hand shake to the hair adjustment" move. I figure I'm getting knocked out soon, may as well give the people their money's worth. And how awesome would it be to dramatically rise off the floor while the ref is counting me out and my crusty trainer is shouting at me to stay down?
'80s movies are to blame for my delusional belief in my boxing skills. As everyone knows, to be a great boxer, all you need is heart, someone to believe in you, and a training montage set to an inspiring '80s ballad. I don't really have the first two, but I could totally do a montage. Run on the beach for a while, do some sit-ups, hit that big ...punching bag thing, no problem. "Eye of the Tiger" is a bit too obvious, let's go with ...hmmmm. Def Leppard? Not enough synthesizer. Journey? Too played out. Hey, this montage might be harder than I thought.
Of course, this fantasy only applies to old school boxing. MMA is too dude-touching for me. Hey, you know, boxing is probably losing tons of revenue to MMA. They should be looking for a new underdog story to teach America how to dream again. And with my "everyman" physique and "Joe Six-pack" avoidance of training, hard work and sense of entitlement, I could be just the underdog they're looking for. Where do I sign up?
*When I say "almost every guy" I really mean, "Me and a guy at work I talked to about boxing once." With that sort of rigorous sourcing, I could totally be a lifestyles feature editor, if I only lived in New York.