founder of naked leader
I must admit, when you first shared what you were going to do, I thought you must be joking. And, when I realised you weren’t – forgive me – I thought you must be mad.
Quiet, reflective, intelligent (all opposite traits to me), during a quiet family meal, you said ‘I’ve decided to have a go at white collar boxing.’
(Pause as your mum, sister and I took this in, each of us wondering privately ‘what on earth is white collar boxing.’ Hang on ‘boxing’ – isn’t that where people get hit, and hurt, and harmed?).
This thought, balanced with our wish for you to do anything you want with your life, caused mum to blurt out something like ‘oh’ – followed by ‘what’s white collar?” – Bizarrely none of us said what we really wanted to – ‘please don’t’.
So you explained what white collar boxing is, and the training involved.
(It’s real boxing in a real ring between two real equally matched office workers, who have each trained for 10 weeks) (More here).
The last thing in the world I ever want to see is you being hurt, right up there with me never wanting to kill your dream. So, we said, with the same low level of enthusiasm we actually felt, ‘great’ ‘fantastic’ ‘go for it’.
And you did – you trained hard – very hard – every Saturday for ten weeks, and as the day of the fight approached (even now I can’t believe this actually happened) you sold tickets to your family, with Rosalind, her 81 year old mum, Jean and I sitting ringside.
Any lingering doubt that this might be some kind of pretend, Lego boxing was knocked well and truly out when we arrived at the venue – The London Irish Centre (where else?) – And saw the huge size of the ring. I was more nervous that day than at any event I have ever spoken at anywhere in the world.
12 bouts on the card (see, I learned the lingo) and you were number 5.
And off we went, professional Ring Master, Referees and a sold-out crowd who had paid real money to see real boxing – whatever colour collar is involved.
The first bout was stopped when the blue boxer, as Jean (81) observed at the time ‘isn’t doing very well, he’s got blood pouring out of his nose.’
The second was a knockout.
Three more to go – and then, suddenly, there you were standing next to me. Not having been asked for, or offered any thoughts over the 10 previous weeks, as I had none, you said to me ‘any last minute advice.’ I remember looking at you and saying ‘yes, hit him, and keep hitting him. If you are hitting him he can’t be hitting you.’
Deep psychological expert opinion, that. Not.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, for Bout number five, please welcome, in the red corner, from Woking in Surrey, ANTHONY CRUNCH CORNER MULLER – and there you were…
Your opponent was very encouragingly called ‘Chris LIGHTS OUT Anderson.’
‘Oh well’ I thought ‘looks like he’s going through with it’
And the next 6 minutes seemed like an eternity…a very exciting eternity I must admit as (apparently) I spent the entire time on my feet shouting ‘HIT HIM ANTHONY’
And suddenly it was over – you and Lights Out took your positions each side of the referee:
‘AND, in a UNANIMOUS DECISION…’
You said you were going to do it,
and you did, and you won.
One very, very proud Dad
Comment with your best punchline below