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The Final Bell With Lawrence – A Comedic Boxing Column

By Lawrence Owens

As a boxing fan growing up, the thing that was the most trivial to me besides Larry Merchant’s commentating were boxer’s nicknames. That was when I had hair, but now that I’m going bald it’s an open space on my head that allows my brain to breathe, sort of like a sunroof. Don’t you agree “Bad” Brad? Armed with a breathing brain and thick reading glasses I stole from CVS, did I type that out loud? I realize that boxers nicknames are brilliant! That was done in my Guinness Beer commercial voice.

Why are nicknames so brilliant you ask? Because it is a name that a boxer chooses to define himself. Why do they take on this name? Is it because it rhymes with their first or last name like Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs or is it where they are from “The Camden Buzzsaw” Dwight Muhammad Qawi? Then maybe it is an alias so Child Support doesn’t find them? Lawrence”Two Months in the Rear” Owens. Who knows…Who cares?

I do! I care and like to learn about the crazy thought patterns of people so I can get more jokes. Former President George Bush anyone? Can you just imagine if he was a boxer what his nickname would be… Let’s do his introduction together, shall we… The Former 2- Term President of The United States and undisputed recession maker of the world: George “Blame Everything on the Next President and Just So Happened He Is Black Which Helps People Focus More On That Than My Incompetence” Bussshhhhh!. Let’s hear Michael Buffer say that 3 times fast. He would have to wear a big robe to fit all of that lettering on the back, that is for sure.

Now that didn’t rhyme or say where he is from. That falls under my other categories of nicknames called “That’s What They Wanted”. Here area few of my favorites Past and Present that we are going to explore together…

Let’s start with the past and I mean the past. At a time when things made sense to only a certain group of people. The REF just tapped me on the shoulder and told me to be nice Lawrence. I was going to say Republicans. The REF just said OK no foul here. In my mind, the Republicans were the people who didn’t care about anything else, but their own beliefs and separated themselves from everyone else because they felt as though they are not equal. So how ’bout them Bears? That’s an old trick I stole from my mama when a family member said something truthful that they weren’t supposed to at our Thanksgiving Dinner and the room fell to a dead silence. That’s comedy at its best! Because that line never worked! Everyone was still quiet from secret that was let out. The sad thing about that is we’re all Redskins fans!

“The Brown Bomber” Joe Louis. That’s not racist. Why not? Is it because of how great of a boxer he was or the fact he was adored by so many? We know it wasn’t because he grew up in Detroit. I don’t recall the NFL ever having a Detroit Browns franchise, do you?
“The Boston Tar Baby” Sam Langford.I wonder what race he is? That is sarcasm at its best. I watch a lot of Jim Lampley tapes. Now how wrong is that nickname? Very wrong..because the great Sam Langford is from Canada. Now that was a great one liner that I was expecting to hear the quick drum beat with the cymbal at the end. Lew “The Living Death” Jenkins. You have to love that one. “The Living Death” is genius in how you put two things together that can’t happen at the same time. Hold up Flavor Flav/Reality Show proved it actually can…

Now let’s fast forward to the newer generation of nicknames in boxing that I like. Rafael “Bazooka” Limon. Other people had the nickname as well, but I’m partial to southpaws so I chose him.

Limon was a brawler. I’m thinking that he chose that nickname because he wish he had won in the three fights he lost to Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon and that’s the only Bobby Chacon reference in this column thank you very much in my best Latka Gravas played by (the late comedian Andy Kaufman) from Taxi voice. “Super” Ray Oliveira. I just like how it sounds when announced “Super” Raaayyyyyy Oliveira. It flowed.

Sometimes nicknames just flow because you know the only thing super about him was his tattoos. Another nickname that flowed that a fight had and he could also fight was Renaldo “Mister” Snipes. He was the hard hitting heavyweight who almost upset champion Larry Holmes who benefited on a Gene Tunney-like long count or maybe the referee had a speech impediment and stuttered as he counted. Not to worry “Mister” Snipes, Larry Holmes lost his title years later to Michael “The Jinx” Spinks. Talk about irony!

Understand my thinking now? Good so now you can explain it to me. Let’s move to present day boxing. Now this one just makes no sense to me that is why I love it: Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis. “Six Heads?. WHAT? I laugh every time I hear his name, and at the fact that all six of his heads frequently hit the canvas at once. What else makes you laugh? Well, since you asked, the clip of Rocky Lockridge crying on Intervention. It is a youtube classic. Now that’s just wrong Lawrence, but come on, I know a lot of you readers saw that and laughed to because that cry of Rocky’s sounded like something you would hear from the aliens they have under wraps over in Area 51.

Ok, it’s dead wrong. …Just like Evander Holyfield still boxing. Don’t get mad at me for saying it. I’m not the one issuing boxing licenses? So I guess the boxing commissioners have a better since of humor than all of us. Now for my favorite nickname of all time.. Drum Roll……

Darnell “The Ding-a-Ling Man” Wilson. Oh the material this man has given me. Remember I’m still a stand up comedian. The Ding-a-ling Man? I wonder where he got this nickname from? He must be a Chuck Berry fan. That’s the only thing I can think of. Let me tell you why its my favorite. How do you explain the fight you just had with him without people looking at you funny? And God forbid if you lose and your mama asks you “how was your fight baby?” You then say, “Ding-a-Ling came out quick and got in my ass! “Then your mama asks you “why did you let “Ding- a- Ling” get in your ass son”? Now you have to tell the truth and you reply “he was harder than I thought, with a big hook, that’s how he got in my ass mama”…So how about them Bears?

(Side Note: Chris I saw your comment that you enjoyed my column on my article last week and wanted to say thanks for the kind words. How did you enjoy Fight Night? I encourage all of my readers to leave comments no matter what they are.)

That’s my time, but until next time.

“Live, Love and Laugh”…….

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