See, normally I sit down with a nutritious meal, a helpful beverage, my laptop and a number of leisurely, quiet hours in front of me. I eat, I drink, I tap, I think, I take sneaky screen grabs.
But last night, I actually went to the Sydney Entertainment Centre to see the fight (thank you, oh benevolent TV types). Let’s see the difference:
Nutritious Meal: FAIL. The mini meat pies in the secret room where drinks were free (I will always find the secret room where the drinks are free) were delicious, and I will be saving the streak of gravy I spilled on my top as a souvenir, but nutritious? No.
Helpful Beverage: WIN. Win plural. Win myself a couple of new kidneys.
Laptop: FAIL. I started scribbling notes on a highly technological piece of paper, but that made it impossible to concentrate on proceedings, and given that I only have two hands - one of which was holding a beer and the other of which was clamped over my mouth with amazement – I figured I should get my manual priorities in order. Just like life.
Leisurely Quiet Hours: Are you f*cking serious?
So. Y’know. Don’t expect much.
The Philosophy Of Hitting Blokes And That
I managed an in-depth interview with all of the Contender boxers who weren’t fighting that night. Well, I spoke to a number of them briefly, including the hosts. Oh, okay, I mumbled a couple of things under my breath and may or may not have been overheard.
Exclusive boxer soundbytes below.
Daniel & Israel: “G’day”.
Josh: “Anyone know where the gents is?”.
Victor: “Blog? What is ‘blog’?”
Les: “Blaaaaaaaah! Chantelle Dawson! Blaaaaaaaah!”
Charlotte Dawson: Something about boob tape.
Sonni: “My man! My woman! I just shake hands with you, man. I have a piece of paper say I not go near the woman. BOOYAKA!! BOO! BOO! BOO! BOOYAKA!”.
The challenge was keeping my eye on the boxing ring instead of just checking out everyone in the audience. For a while there it looked like hairdressing would come out in front (the variety!), with multicoloured fingernails coming up the rear (Oh. I see how that sounds now. Ouch), threatening the mastery of That’s Really Quite A Lot Of Tattoos, Sir, but it was seriously too close to call.
Of course, the real winner was Ed Hardy.
Oh, Nader. You’re a Knight In White Satin with a waxed chest. It may not necessarily be noble, but it totally works.
Oh, Junior. You so sparkly.
Oh, Garth. Nice haircut. Good to see you get some new eye-work, as well.
Aaaaah, Kariz. It will only be a shame if you get modelling work out of this if they insist on putting clothes on you.
OH SONNI. If someone had just told me you’d worn a leopard-skin suit that looked like it had actually been mauled by leopards AND a wooden mask WITH DREADLOCKS, I would have assumed it was a dream. An incredible, jungle-esque, batshit-crazy dream. BUT NO! I have proof. Fuzzy, black-and-white, didn’t-get-the-mask-in-shot, why-are-my-eyes-glowing proof.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight. On Sonni's jacket.
KOs and OKs
Did I blink, or did Nader and Junior’s grudge match only last as long as Bindi Irwin’s Greatest Hits album? See, apparently if there’s a head clash within the first three rounds of the fight, and there’s a crescent moon, a light westerly wind, enough polyester-cotton in the room and the blood drops from one of the boxer’s faces makes a pattern that looks ike a monkey riding a bicycle on the floor of the ring, it’s a technical draw and they stop the fight.
It’s true. I looked it up.
It might have been the contact high from all the (awesome) testosterone in the room, it might have been the culmination of eleven weeks of build-up, or it might have been the way the stadium lighting glittered elegantly off Kariz’s abdominal muscles, but hot damn, I loved this fight. Garth got low and close to counteract Kariz’s reach, Kariz kept up with relentless body-shots in the clinch, and eventu – OH MY GOD, THERE’S TAHNEE FROM AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. Girl just cannot keep away from blood at a Foxtel finale.
Despite being the underdog (or underbunny, more correctly), Garth emerged victorious, said something about starring in a feature film and winning an Oscar, accepted his gigantic novelty cheque from Charlotte Dawson, and no doubt went out to get irreversibly stonkered.
Nice one, Garfus.
So that’s it! I must say that between the incredible personalities, buff gods and questionable eating habits on the screen, the criminally heated and riotous goings-on on the Contender facebook page, the outstandingly generous and hilarious people I’ve met from the show and those little mini-pizzas with feta and olives on them, it’s been a hell of a ride.
Thanks for reading!