Sunset Thomas: The Harder They Fall
By Sunset Thomas, Doghouse Boxing (May 23, 2009)  
When I told Frankie Gambino that we were going to a benefit-boxing event, his smarmy smile telegraphed his thoughts.

“And it’s not the Foxy Boxing event at the Déjà Vu Strip Club either, you pugilistic perv!”

I watched Frankie’s hopes fall as fast as Marvis Frazier did against Mike Tyson so many years ago…

The event we were going to, although not pitting Vegas’ top strippers against one another in the squared circle, promised to be equally entertaining.

We were going to be covering the Fight Club Charity Boxing Tournament in the newly refurbished The Joint in the Hard Rock Casino here in Las Vegas.

I’ve got to say, I wasn’t able to attend The Joint’s inaugural boxing event (which featured Chad Dawson and Antonio Tarver) and so this was my first foray inside boxing newest Vegas venue.

This place rocks!

“Not a bad seat in the house,” I uttered to Frankie.

“I see a lot of great seats,” he stammered.

I followed his trance like gaze to a pack of young pretties, with firm, barely concealed bottoms! “What is this, a ring-girl convention?” he asked.

I have to admit. The Hard Rock is a honey-pot for hotties. It’s a youngish crowd that also draws those who like young crowds. And among the two-thousand or so in attendance, a large portion were pretties…

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of boxing. Frankie Gambino, who is something of a boxing elitist, was only temporarily distracted by all the coochie. It wasn’t long before he was grumbling about what we were in for. A bunch of out-of-shape brawlers who would be good for the first twenty seconds of the first round and then become embarrassing blobs—clinching and holding and sucking air through their mouth like Michael Phelps at a fraternity party!

But that simply wasn’t the case.

Each fighter had prepared for months. Working out at the local gym/club of their choice. And the crowd was a mix of their brothers and sisters in arms.

Of course, amateur rules applied—headgear, 3-two minute rounds…

Casino Host Brian Bulger walked us to our ringside seats (again, there truly is not a bad seat in the house, but because of limited seating capacity, The Joint will not compete with the MGM et al, for the blockbuster bouts, however, it is very suitable for world-class combat!)

So we got to chatting with our neighbors—me to Keith Wingate, who happens to be a media consultant for Clear Channel radio. He had a buddy boxing on the card’s 2nd bout—Andy Gil, the resident D.J. at the Poetry Nightclub.

Frankie, of course, was drawn to two luscious Latin lovelies—Irene (from Spain) and Laura (Argentina). They were there to cheer on their guy, Cesar Salas (a host from Tao) who would be lacing ‘em up in the 7th event.

Quite honestly, it’s good to see boxing in any genre—whether it’s a Rocky flick, a mega pay-per view extravaganza, a smoker in anywhereville, at the YMCA or PAL or Golden Gloves or, well you get the picture.

And what made this particular event so boxing worthy (beside the aforementioned serious intentions and preparation of the fighters), was the first class effort put forth to create the feeling of a major event.

I mean the swirling; multi-colored lighting rivaled any title bout. The two giant monitors on either side of the ring provided not only the action inside but broadcast pre-fight interviews and vignettes—building anticipation and a giving a certain sense of importance to each and every bout.

It didn’t hurt that Tony Hawk and Jason Giambi were but a few of the celebs in attendance (all adding to that big-time boxing vibe).

The crowd got into it from the opening bell.

Boxing is sport and as a sport it brings out tribal and partisan emotions in everyone attending. What made this event all the more clannish was the fact that each fighter (28 in all) had their posse’s present—their hard-partying, hard bodied buds and budettes—and they rolled Vegas style!

What made Frankie happy, as he explained it to me, was that “Hey, I’m sure lots of these kids have never been to a bout. I bet a lot of ‘em like that cage variety of fighting—that pop culture combat stuff. And so seeing them, watching it old school—even if it is grade-school, old school—well, kiddo, that makes old man Gambino proud. And you know what? These guys ain’t half bad.”

And Frankie was right. In this day and age of mixed drinks with names I can’t pronounce and mixed martial arts with styles I can’t pronounce, it was indeed refreshing to watch the young ‘ens getting fired up for a night of good, old fashioned fisticuffs.

And despite what Frankie swears he says I said, we won’t be covering that aforementioned Foxy Boxing event…

I just want everyone to know that my book, Anatomy of an Adult Film, is officially available. It’s not in stores yet, but it is available on and through a host of other on-line book distributors!

So please buy it, read it and be prepared to take a cold shower afterwards!

You can find out more at

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