The older I get, the more likely I am to defend the sport of boxing when someone points out that prizefighting is a barbaric act which should be abolished.
The closer to I get to my checkout time, the more I understand that we are given one shot at this, and one might as well test oneself to the max, challenge one's limitations, so you don't have reservations and regrets in your waning days.
Sechew Powell, the junior middleweight from Flatbush, feels like boxing has given him far more than it's taken, and he gives no apologies for giving the savage science full-on props.
"Life is dangerous. Every man is going to die. Every man does not fully live. I've been around the world because of boxing, to England, Ireland. Life's been good. Without boxing, I can't say it would be as good."
The fighter acknowledges it could be better; he wasn't in peak form in his last fight, and lost a decision to IBF junior middleweight titlist Cornelius Bundrage. Powell said he aims to be the No. 1 contender in the IBF to start 2012, and get a title crack next year. And while he feels that age is just a number, and that the effects of aging are more a matter of ingrained expectations that reality, Powell acknowledges that "I'm not the youth of boxing" anymore.
He quickly points out that he hasn't been in any "car crash" fights, rumbles which tend to age a boxer a few years in one night. Curiously, maybe, to some, Powell said he is looking to get into Gatti-Ward territory, to take part in a back a forth tussle which leaves fans jaws on the floor next to the empty beer cups. "I'm looking forward to that 'wear and tear' fight, I want to give those epic fights," he said.
Now with promoter Don King, after Warriors Boxing sold his contract to DK, Powell said he would happily get it on with Mayweather, the man who has been cutting him checks for the last six weeks as a sparring partner. "I'd love the opportunity if it presented itself. After three or four of the right fights, it is possible. But now, to be in the Floyd sweepstakes, I'm not in them, because the fans don't know me enough."
And if his lucky numbers pop up? Would he beat Mayweather?
"Of course," Powell said. "I would say I'd win against anyone. I truly believe I have what it takes to beat the best."
I tried to lure Powell the tiniest bit, test him, see if he'd admit to trying to test Mayweather in sparring, to see how he matched up to the P4P best. He set me straight..."In sparring, you're not boxing to win," he said. "It's about giving him work."
And it's also about finding the pockets of good in life, the moments and opportunities to savor and to help sustain yourself in a most rigorous vocation.
"I'm with the champ right now," Powell said. "It's awesome. People out there wish they could do what I can do. I don't take it for granted."
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