More tales from the trenches with ‘Mr. Boxing YYC’ – Calgary Sun

Posted: April 16, 2020 at 8:50 pm


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There was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away.

That evening, all the neighbours came around to commiserate. They said, We are so sorry to hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.

The farmer said, Maybe.

The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening, everybody came back and said, Oh, isnt that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses!

The farmer again said, Maybe.

The following day his son tried to break one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg.

The neighbours then said, Oh dear, thats too bad, and the farmer responded, Maybe.

The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the neighbours came around and said, Isnt that great! Again, he said, Maybe.

The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and its really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune.

Or you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.

Alan Watts

Maybe we pick up clues as we go along, labeling situations as either misfortune or good fortune.

But the yin cant exist without the yang the shadow depends on light and vice versa.

Heres my first tale, and after an hour-long chat for memory clarification with one of my amateur foes, I share a funny Scotty Bulldog Olson story.

Its circa 1985, and the Edmonton flyweight is prepping for his first year as a senior looking to capture another national title.

Hes training daily under the tutelage of Cougar Boxing boss, Mr. Paul Hortie. Hortie is a bit of a war hero, as he served in the navy on a Corvette warship, and as an explosive landed on the deck, he grabbed it and threw it off. As it detonated, it took a few of his fingers with it. Those stubs, according to son Brad, became like granite, especially when coach Hortie scolded you while pushing them into your chest.

So Scotty is hitting the double-end bag at Cougar, which is secured to the ceiling with a heavy wood plank. It pops, springs to the floor and crashes the Bulldogs head, knocks him on his butt and splits his head open. This is literally days before the nationals. Hortie springs into action and closes the cut with a coagulant then seals the wound using plastic wood. Olson went to the nationals a few days later and won. A few years later, he was in Seoul for the 1988 Olympics.

Im training in San Diego with the great Archie Moore. Were downtown at Irish Spud Murphys Boxing Gym right on Broadway Ave. Pop Murphy is head of the gym and also part of a clan that is an amazingly generous Irish family. The club was on top of a seedy pool hall, and one day after training, were sitting at the bar having a water when a very shifty individual wanders in grumbling at us and swearing, challenging etc. And then he sits right beside me at the bar. Im looking to get up and move to avoid knocking this sucker out and avoiding trouble when I see two suits walk in. They motion me to stay cool and silent. As they approach the bar, one guy grabs his arm, the other reaches into the guys pants and pulls out a pistol. They were detectives, and this guy just robbed something across the street, and people told the police which business he walked into. Whew!

There was a permanent border check-point between San Diego and Los Angeles. Of course, it was mandatory to slow down and either be pulled aside or waved through. I usually never experienced any trouble here whatsoever, and I was never pulled over, but one day, Im travelling with a friend of mine visiting from Canada. Another friend who actually owned the car remained in San Diego. As we get questioned and removed from the car, CHP brings a dog over to sniff. The excited officer comes over to me and states, OK, the dogs only alert to other people and drugs. Are there any other people in the car? I said nope. Well now the officers are all going crazy because they think they hit the jackpot two young guys travelling in a Chrysler K-car with Canadian plates coming from the south. So they have us standing out in the hot sun and not allowed to lean against the police car or sit down. They approach again and inform me that we know that there are drugs in the car and you better come clean now, otherwise well tear the car apart, and even if we dont find anything, it will be your responsibility to put the car back together. I tell the officer, Hey knock yourself out. We definitely dont have any drugs in the car, and if you tear it apart, youre going to put it back together. Not me. So after two hours standing in the hot sun and interrogation, I guess they decided it wasnt worth the risk of tearing the car apart, especially since I was very calm about the situation and very innocent. I dont remember what my buddy ever said that could cause a possible alert from the dog.

This one comes from the late-80s. Im in Edmonton and doing roadwork with Ken Lakusta every day. Hes a former two-time Canadian heavyweight champion and has been in the ring with over a dozen greats, including guys such as Larry Holmes and George Foreman. Every day he picks me up, and theres an extremely foul odour on his breath, and as we drive over to the top of the Edmonton river valley to start running, I cant explain how bad it is. Finally after a few days, I call him out asking, What the hell is that smell? He laughs and says he eats fresh garlic every morning before our run. Its good for the blood and as an anti-oxidant!

-So in the meantime and in between time, thats it another edition of Mr. Boxing YYC-

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More tales from the trenches with 'Mr. Boxing YYC' - Calgary Sun

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April 16th, 2020 at 8:50 pm

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