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QUEENS, N.Y. (BASN) — It’s an Odd life, a hard life, a mean life, but it’s the life he chose. The life of a Boxer.
Not the “living large” Floyd Mayweather boxing life — it’s more like Rocky — but it’s not a movie. It’s work during the day doing physical labor.
Then hit the gym for three hours. Go home, shower, eat, kiss the baby, kiss the wife, sleep until the alarm clock goes off at 4:45 a.m.
Run seven miles and then cool down. It’s 6 a.m.. Shower. Eat breakfast. It’s 7 a.m. Take bus. Take train. It’s 7:50 a.m. Grind for nine hours.
It’s 5 p.m. Take bus. Take train. It’s 5:50 p.m. Kiss the baby.
Kiss the wife. Then hit the gym.
It’s an Odd life, a hard life, a mean life, but it’s the life he chose. The life of a Boxer. He’s 30 years old, with a 2-1-1 record. He wuz robbed twice.
He beat the first guy he fought but got a draw. Fought Willie Monroe Jr., son of Willie Sr. (who defeated Marvelous Marvin Hagler).
Hometown decision like good home cookin’. “It be like that in boxing.” So, you learn to roll with the punches — literally and figuratively. One knock out.
Happened in the second round. Guy fell face first and just laid there. Butt up in the air. Face on the floor and Butt up in the air. No promoter. No manager.
But his best years as a fighter are in front of him.
It’s an Odd life, a hard life, a mean life, but it’s the life he chose. The life of a Boxer. He’s got the best trainer in the world. Sixty plus year old, moves like he’s 30, wise like he’s a 90 — Pastor.
Pastor Ralph. A Bronx training legend. He’s a Pastor for real. Loves his fighters. And they love him back. Sometimes he’s hard. Sometimes he soft. Always teaching. Always imparting.
Always sharing. Always… Always… Pastor is biding his time. Waiting for that champion. It will happen, he says. It’s ordained. It’s God’s will. And like his fighter, Pastor’s best years are in front of him. They’re part of the Late Bloomers Society.
It’s an Odd life, a hard life, a mean life, but it’s the life he chose. The life of a Boxer. He’s got a reputation. Strong, tall middleweight. Granite chin. He don’t quit, won’t quit.
The proverbial indomitable will. He’s Bronx Born, Bronx Bred, and Bronx Built. He’s too tough. Too tough for his own damn good. He can’t get a fight — or should I say buy a fight.
Not after he almost derailed Willie Monroe Jr., the beneficiary of some ‘good home cookin.’ The Odds say that he’ll continue working Odd jobs. The Odds say that he’ll never get that shot.
The Odds say that even if he gets the shot, he’ll never win. The odds say that even if he wins (a title), he won’t keep it. The odds say many things. That’s why we call his journey an Odd-yssey.
Through the politics of the sport, through the dead-end or should I say dead-ass 8, (not 9) to 5, through the tired muscles, through the bad shoulder, through the sore ribs, through the achy knees, through the tedious drills (punching endlessly on a bag, jumping endlessly over a rope), through the quick pecks on the cheeks of the loving Mrs. and beautiful baby, through the cancellations, through the letdowns and disappointments — through the fire, through the wire, and through the liars.
It’s an Odd life, a hard life, a mean life, but it’s the life he chose. The life of a Boxer. It’s a strange tale. Not a fairy tale or a whale’s tail. It’s the life of a Boxer. A part-time Boxer with full-time aspirations.
It’s an Odd-yssey. It’s the Odd-yssey of Omar “K.O.” Artis.
BASN Nation. Follow the ups. Follow the downs. Follow the dreams. Follow the life… the life of a Boxer: The Odd-yssey of Omar “K.O.” Artis.