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June 19, 2012

This weekend we sat down and watched a little boxing on TV.  We had missed the Pacquiao-Bradley fight last week, and so we watched the replay.  I don’t know, I guess Pacquiao probably should have won, but I don’t think the split decision in Bradley’s favor was the utter travesty that people are making it out to be (apparently Congress is looking into it, which will no doubt be just as productive as their “steroid hearings” — congratulations to Roger Clemens, by the way, and it takes a lot for me to root for that guy).

We also watched this new heavyweight sensation Bryant “Bye-Bye” Jennings make easy work of Steve Collins. Jennings has a pretty compelling story and it’s difficult not to root for the guy:

Bryant Jennings, 27, has been employed for the last six years as a mechanic in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s facilities department. He works from 7:30 a.m. till 4 p.m. Sometimes he runs seven miles from his home to the bank, where his duties include carpentry, plumbing and electrical repair. “We fix just about everything,” he said. When he finishes laboring at his day job, Jennings moonlights as an undefeated heavyweight. He just wrapped up training for his fight Saturday against Steve Collins at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

As if Jennings’s ascent isn’t strange enough, here’s where it gets downright bizarre: The people in his corner insist that his day job actually helps Jennings as a boxer. “He’s not a guy who comes out of work, goes to the club and hangs out for four hours,” said Fred Jenkins, his trainer. “He goes to work, comes to the gym, goes home and gets his rest. If he did anything else, he’d become lazy.” The promoter Russell Peltz added: “I’m old school. I think fighters today are spoiled. I believe they should work full-time.” The unorthodox routine appears to be working so far. Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, was recently asked over dinner in a Hollywood hotel if he had his eye on any prospects. The Hall of Famer answered before he could even take a bite of his bacon cheeseburger. The most promising heavyweight in the United States, he said, is Bryant Jennings.

Not to take anything away from Jennings or the other illustrious fighters we watched, but the most entertaining thing for me Saturday night was when the ring announcer announced the appearance of Doel Carrasquillo on the undercard at Newark’s Prudential Center (known as “The Rock”). Now, despite the fact that Carrasquillo came into the fight with a 16-19-1 record (and left with a 16-20-1 record), he has been described as “a dangerous sleeping dog who loves to surprise young fighters who take his losing record for granted.”

And he’s a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Hence, he was introduced as Doel “The Amish Guy” Carrasquillo. No, seriously, Doel Carrasquillo is “The Amish Guy.” A little follow-up research revealed that his real nickname is “The Amish Assassin.” Perhaps “assassin” was a little strong for the tender ears of the NBC Sports Network audience, or perhaps it lacked credibility given his losing record, I don’t know, but Doel “The Amish Whatever” Carrasquillo is the best fighter nickname I’ve ever heard. And it truly puts to shame the lame-ass likes of Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao. Time to step up your game, boys. The Amish Assassin is a sleeping dog no more.

And then Sunday night we watched Rocky.

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