Type a few simple words into YouTube while looking for something specific — like, say, “amazing knockout” and a fighter’s name — and you’ll end up with more than you bargained for.
There are all manner of strange and entertaining boxing clips out there, it turns out. The aforementioned method is how I stumbled across the two videos in my end of the year award round-up, with the bizarre wrestling match that broke out
in mid-boxing match and the commercial featuring a man and a bear boxing over salmon. Those clips, combined with the unique head-into-the-turnbuckle knockdown of Ricky Hatton by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. a couple weekends ago and the “Nate Campbell is an idiot” clip left in our comments section here, pushed me over the edge toward doing something I’d been thinking of for a while: assembling the funniest and strangest videos of the sweet science I could find.
Is this some kind of hopelessly corny, 1980s blooper-clip revival? Kind of. But I don’t care. I miss the blooper clips, dammit, and I bet I’m not alone. Besides, it’s the holidays and there’s a brief dry spell in boxing before 2008 heats up again.
A quick disclaimer: There’s no accounting for taste, but I deliberately left out anything that I thought was over-the-top grisly. That stuff’s out there if you do your own search, be warned. And, in the case of the animal boxing videos — oh yes, I included some of them, because animals boxing is hilarity incarnate — I included nothing where it appeared the animals were abused or harmed in any way. Nor did I include anything from other combat sports, like kickboxing. Or children. Or acts of violence between civilians where no boxing gloves are involved.
You have my formal invitation — nay, my insistence — that if there’s something I’ve left out, you send it along.
Now, to the tapes…
Let’s start with some animals, shall we? My fondness for kangaroo boxing knows no bounds. Whether it’s versus humans…
…or each other (this has got to be the Thrilla in Manilla of kangaroo fight footage)…
…or strange Australian-y mascots.
Sometimes, weird things just happen. Like with this fellow, who is searching to redefine “hackneyed”…
…or with this boxer, who seems to be passable at his craft, save one of the fundamentals…
…or when one boxer has an interesting facade….
…or when a motherly intervention is in order. (Sorry about the lack of an embed. Note: Second half of this clip violates one of the rules above.)
While Ricardo Mayorga somehow gets away with inviting an opponent to knock him out…
…it’s clear you need to be made of sterner stuff than Nate Campbell to pull it off.
With Roy Jones, Jr. fighting again soon, let’s not ever forget that he did this:
Zab Judah is one of boxing’s bad guys, so there is something satisfying about seeing him slapped so silly…
…although Mike Tyson apparently trademarks the multi-knockdown punch here…
In fact, I have a pair of friends who are obsessed with the “double punch,” albeit different variations. One wants to see a fighter throw both a left and a right at the same time; that holy grail has long been out of my reach.
However, I can deliver the other kind of “double punch,” when both fighters land knockdown punches at the same time, Rocky II-style. Several, in fact.
While we’re on the subject of things that come in twos, let’s not forget the dangerous work referees do.
Kangaroos don’t rule the animal boxing kingdom. Cats like the fight game, even if they’re over-matched (in one of my all-time favorite Internet clips)…
…or very evenly matched…
…or just in classic footage.
The rules of this competition are ill-defined, as often is the case for Japanese game shows, but it produces some good antics.
And, lastly, commercials often turn to boxing. (Or, in these cases, technically other combat sports… just to end on a rule-breaker.)