The Great Unload III: Fighting Ryan Coyne

Back in the age of yore, when Hoosierweight Boxing reigned in backyards, streets and other assorted venues, I used to partake in a bit of the action. Between Hoosierweight fights (and between assorted injuries brought on by same), I’d find an occasional club fight, just to stay sharp. I won my first, then lost the rest, but emerged with a few good stories to tell. The one I couldn’t tell before today goes a little like so…

While working out at the SBAC’s annex, about six or seven years back, I was approached by the club’s coaches about taking a fight in Saint Charles. This question came after only a few days, maybe a week, of being back in the gym, after some time off.  When asked, I knew that I wasn’t match fit. But in boxing, if you don’t take a fight when offered, you don’t have much credibility and you might to reconsider even being there. Fighters are supposed to fight. Everybody else is there for nothing more than cardio work. That’s all good, too, but I considered myself a fighter that afternoon. So I took a match on a day’s notice and then made the mistake of looking up my opponent on Google.

The fighter was named Ryan Coyne. And he’d just wrapped up a football career at Mizzou, which ended prematurely, with an injury. Didn’t know about the injury, but I could still tell from that little bit of information that Ryan Coyne was: young, assumedly very fit, and recently involved in a contact sport, at a high level. The next day, the day of the fight, I bagged the match, claiming some bogus reason, or another. And then I stopped training at SBAC for a bit, sliding over to Cherokee Rec for a few months, just to live down the internal shame.

Interesting to me, Coyne would go on to fight a big batch of amateur matches in Saint Louis, before turning pro. In time, he’d be a part of Oscar De La Hoya’s “Contender” series. And then he’d move into the heart of his pro career, now sitting with a 15-0 record, recently burnished by a win in at the Scottrade Center. There’s some talk of his fighting for some of the smaller title belts in the near future, a good place to be for a 28-year-old, especially one who picked up the game late.

So, here’s today’s idea reveal, one that was proposed to Coyne’s camp within the last month: three rounds of sparring. On-camera. After a couple of months of training for yours truly. I figure in that time, I could shed enough weight to not completely embarrass myself, while working around a drum-tight Achilles tendon. Coyne’d be interviewed, I’d be interviewed. We’d talk about age, athletics, what it’s like to hit somebody, what it’s like to be hit. Maybe a doctor could chime in, on the dangers of the sport, particularly for those in retirement.

I was imagining an interesting-looking, possibly black’n’white, short film. A “Supersize Me” in reverse. And, during the process, a one-sided ass-whipping for my troubles. Sure, I’d defend myself as best as I could, but this cat’s climbing the cruiserweight rankings and I’m just climbing the numbers on the scale.

And viewers? Well, I figure on this: we all slow down for car crashes.

This one’s been proposed. It’s been presented to the fighter. Me, I’ll just wait and see and eat doughnuts ’til the decision.