I wasn’t trying to be a professional boxer anymore, but I had a friend in Santa Barbara who lived near my ex-wife. A real tough guy, an ex-marine. He asked me to spar with him. And I thought, Well, I don’t have to demean myself. I just assumed we were friends. I’m a little guy compared to him. He has shoulders like this and a little waist. He would run fifteen miles just for the hell of it. He had a heavy bag hanging from the tree and he worked on that every day. He wasn’t actively boxing anymore, but he was one hell of an athlete. So we sparred and I can’t remember whether I went one round or two before he hit me with this shot. I’ve never had a reaction quite like that to a punch. And I told him, “I got to stop for a minute.” There was this crack in reality where I looked at him and there was a crack in his face. I looked out to the trees in his yard. The trees had this crack in them. And that crack in reality was the last straw for me. I’d never read about that anywhere and I’d never heard of it, either. Ever. I always read The Ring magazine, I still read it and never once have I heard a guy say, After he nailed me, I saw a big crack in reality.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
… 'Fat City,' Fifty Years Later: An Interview with Leonard Gardner. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)