|The Harder They Fall: Sunset's Boxing Journal
By Sunset Thomas, Doghouse Boxing (April 2, 2009)
Remember the movie, Harvey? Jimmy Stewart played a nutty sort who had an imaginary friend named Harvey. The catch was, Harvey was a six-foot bunny rabbit! Well, I’ve got an imaginary friend too. Only mine is for real. That is he was a real person…
Anyways, my companion (he goes to all the fights with me) is Frankie Gambino. Frankie was a middleweight. Frankie had one fightin 1943. He fought Norman Miller in Ocean Park, California. Miller had won three in a rowhis first threeand then he faced my buddy Frankie Gambino and Frankie took him on points in four rounds!
Frankie first approached me in Reno, Nevada. He sort of snuck up while I was walking out with the birthday cake for Sam Petera top ranked Heavyweight.
Sam had knocked out Taurus Sykes in the second round on July 2nd, 2005 at the Reno Events Center (the Center’s first boxing match and a Showtime production).
Sam had returned to Reno to train for his title match against Wladimir Klitschko in Atlantic City for all the marbles.
So there I am at the Golden Phoenix Casinoit’s Sam’s birthdaythe mayor of Reno, Bob Cashell is going to present the Nigerian Nightmare with a plaque announcing that very day as “Samuel Peter Day”…
Me, I’m channeling Marilyn Monroe. I’ve got my blonde tresses teased and I’m wearing a Marilyn-esque dress and I’m accompanying a hotel worker who is rolling out a huge cake on a cart and I’m to sing “Happy Birthday” ala Marilyn at JFK’s birthday party in Madison Square Garden (a place more associated with major boxing events than presidential birthday parties)…
So we’re coming out of the kitchen and I feel someone pinch my ass! I look around, ready to clobber the waiterperson pushing the cart with the cakebut it couldn’t have been himimpossible. And so I shake it off.
Then I hear, “I’d rather grapple with Betty Grable.”
Now, I don’t know who Betty Grable is but I can sense a slight when I hear it and again I look at the kid with the cake but I’m pretty sure he’d know Vanessa Del Rio before he’d know this Betty Grable babe and now I’m getting confused and maybe even a little bit pissed.
That’s what I said. And I said it loud and the guy in the white button up says, “Que Paso?” and I repeat, “What!?” dismissing him with a side-ways glance and a crooked curl of my lip and he freezes and that’s when I hear the voicenow very clearly…
“Hey kid, I’m Frankie Gambino,” that’s what he said.
So I start a dialogue with this voice and the sweet busboy from Juarez, Mexico (he told me so afterwards) is happy to gawk (after all, my dress is very, very low cut)…
“Sunset,” the voice continues. “The boxing Gods have brought us together.”
Me, I’m hoping the boxing Gods have a budget because, hey, I’m a professional.
This Gambino fella continues, explaining to me how he once boxed professionally. How he beat the aforementioned undefeated Norman Miller in Ocean Beach way back when and how he never fought again. And he says he loves broads and boxing and that I bring out the best of both. And he says that for whatever cockamamie reason, he was sent to meto be in my corner. And how we’d make a great team…
That’s right about when I heard Mayor Cashell saying how it was an honor to have Samuel Peter in town on his birthday and how the city loved him and so on and so forth (which was my cue) and so Miguel (that was the cake curriers name) said, “Pronto. Pronto,” and I started singing and I’m pretty sure that dang Frankie Gambino pinched my booty for a second time!
The son-of-a-gun has been with me ever since…
DATE LINE: MGM GRAND/LAS VEGAS/NOVEMBER 22ND 2008
So I make the mistake of telling myself what a great spread the MGM lays out in the Media Center on fight night. And that’s when I hear Frankie boy, “Talk about great spreads!”
“If you call me finger food one more time,” I bark and I’m pretty sure Al Bernstein looks over at meI just nod and smile…
I’m kind of leaning towards the Italian kid from Brooklyn, Paulie Malignaggi, and it has nothing to do with that guinea ghost of mineit’s just that I hated when Hatton was given an unwarranted decision in his last fight against Juan Lazcano. Lazcano beat himthe problem was the whopping took place in Hatton’s home town and there is no sport that sports the homecourt advantage like boxingand that’s because, short of a knockout, the court (i.e. the judges) decide the outcome of a fight…
So I guess I’m still smarting over the shell game they pulled on Lazcano in Manchester. I guess I’m kind of secretly pulling for Paulie Maggsbut then the fight starts!
Oh my God! I carry handbags higher than Malignaggi carries his left…
I don’t care if Hatton trained at the Guinness tap for this fight. He’s not going to lose to a guy with only five KO’s to his name, who might inadvertently hit himself below the belt…
Frankie Gambino wasn’t pleased. He argued that Italian fighters were known less for finesse and more for mixing it up.
Frankly (Frankie hates when I say that), the only excitement of the evening was the fight that preceded the main eventwhen James Kirkland took on highly regarded Brian Vera.
Kirkland hit Vera with everything. Hurt him too. Put him down 3 times. But Vera wouldn’t wipe that “is that all you got?” grin off his increasingly bloodied mouth (Frankie Gambino liked Vera’s ‘balls of steel’).
Finally (and mercifully, in my opinion) Vic Drakulich (the third man in the ring) halted the fight 1:45 into the 8th Round. Vera had had enough. He’s a tough son-of-a-gun and he’ll be fun to watch moving forward (although Frankie says he telegraphs all of his big punches).
Kirkland on the other hand is a monster. Watch out for this tiger. He hits with both hands. He’s a southpaw. He’s got Ann Wolfe in his corner. And he is gunning for greatness!
Anyways, Frankie got kind of pissy when Hatton’s British fans booed the much smaller Yank contingent when they attempted to start a “USA. USA.” chant. Frankie Gambino was quick to point out that we saved the ‘limey’s homeland in WWII.’ I tried to explain they meant no disrespectFrankie wasn’t buyin’ ithe’s so old school…
Anyways, Paulie’s corner stopped the fight with a white towelbetter than getting stopped by the canvas I guess. So maybe this means Hatton is in line for another big payday against somebodybut I’m not biting. I think the Hitman has hit the wall. Nothing spectacular about him anymore, even with old man Mayweather in his corner. But I reckon we’ll just have to wait and see…
Sunset’s XXX Snippet
As some of you are aware, my final film “Into the Sunset” will be released in February or March of 2009. Larry Flynt Productions will be distributing the film and I’ll be promoting its eventual release at the Hustler booth during the AVN Expo here in Vegas in January.
As fate would have it, I will also be enshrined in the prestigious “Legends of Erotica Hall of Fame,” on January 9th. Of course, I’m already a member of the AVN Hall of Fame and the Hustler Hall of Fame but this is a great honor. Frankly, the Legends of Erotica are almost snobby in their selection processso it really means a lot to me.
Hope some of you will make it out for all the fun and games…
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