Dom Joly: Baying for blood as 'credit punch' hits

Weird World of Sport: I think a primeval bloodlust within me was hoping for an illegal bare-knuckle fight

Share
Related Topics

My birthday seems to come around every year. I never get a break. This week, I awoke to my 27th in so many years with some trepidation. There were rumours in the house of some "great" surprise present. I hate surprise presents. The later I get into my twenties, the more I realise that I need to control the choice of present as they more than often disappoint. I went downstairs for breakfast to find a huge parcel, the size of a person, standing in the living room. Had my wife finally cracked and kidnapped somebody for my delectation? I hoped she had chosen well. I ripped open the wrapping paper to find... a punching bag and a pair of boxing gloves. It was a superb present but, for some reason, the manufacturers had forgotten to put a photograph of Louis Walsh on it so I had to do a makeshift one from the newspaper.

Weirdly, there'd been a lot of boxing chat around the house recently. A friend of mine in London, a slightly poncey, male-model type, announced that he had joined a fight club. It was a white-collar fight club, in which City boys fought each other for charity. I was intrigued.

He was training for up to five hours a day and I could see a slight bulking up in his usually willow-like frame. He asked me whether I wanted to come along and watch his fight. I most certainly did and three days later I was off to watch the event. It took place in a hall in the East End and it all seemed to be disappointingly above board. There was a proper ring, medics, and a baying crowd of co-workers. I have to admit to being a little disappointed. I think that, deep down, some primeval bloodlust within me was rather hoping for an illegal, bare-knuckle fight.

Back in the Cotswolds, I'd got chatting to somebody in a pub who told me about a local fight club circuit that was much more along illegal lines. Apparently, workers from different construction firms took each other on in illegal fights that are staged in containers and on which large amounts of money change hands. I tried in vain to get an invite to one but it was a closed shop. Back in London, there was plenty of "respect" and a little too much head protection for my liking. I realised that my disappointment came from a deep-seated desire to see a couple of financiers take a beating as a way of making us all feel a bit better about the credit crunch. Most of the aggression came from the crowd, made up of curious co-workers and friends.

They howled their appreciation of every punch and I found myself swept up by the atmosphere and screaming with the best of them. Unexpectedly, my friend turned out to be quite tasty and beat a slightly porky investment banker. They hugged each other in mutual, sweaty "respect" and everybody headed off to an expensive dinner on expenses.

Back home, the birthday breakfast was over and my punchbag had been hung up in the gym. I put on my gloves, a pair of boxer shorts and a vest and headed off for training session number one. It felt good, I was like Rocky, I was going to get fit and violent at the same time. I took a tip from a friend and put The Who's Greatest Hits on to the gym stereo. Forget "Eye of the Tiger" – The Who is the band of choice for serious boxers. The idea is that you put them on at full blast and pummel away at the bag for a whole song. This simulates a round. On went "My Generation" and off I went. I hooked, upper-cutted, jabbed – all the while dancing like a rather large and ungainly bee.

Halfway through the song I wondered whether I might die before the end of it, let alone before I got old. I managed to keep moving, however, until the very end of the song but only just.

I turned off the music and staggered back to the house. That was probably enough for the first day. Like Rocky, I needed to build up a routine slowly. Unlike Rocky, I awoke the following morning to find that I was totally unable to get out of my bed as every muscle in my back had frozen up. I spent my first day as a 27-year-old professional boxer laid up in bed... Bet this never happened to Marciano...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Technician

£20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established dealer gr...

Recruitment Genius: Contact Centre Team Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company is the UK's leading...

Recruitment Genius: Shunter / HGV Driver

£23172 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading and fastest growing h...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager / Estate Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an experienced Resident...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Greek Yes voters were so shy they didn’t even turn up to the polling stations

John Rentoul
epa04832814 Supporters of the 'No' campaign wave flags and react after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma Square, in Athens, Greece, 05 July 2015. Greek voters in the referendum were asked whether the country should accept reform proposals made by its creditors. 10367444  

Greek referendum: As Greece spirals towards disaster, a new era of extremist politics begins

Daphne Halikiopoulou
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate