Last night, around 250 people packed Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo to watch a boxing match. Vegas it may not have been, but the roar that went up in the crowd when Jonathan “The Herring Wonder” Ames‘s name was announced in the ring certainly came close to deafening my ears. Ames, previously 1-4 in boxing bouts, had spent the last few weeks training at Gleason’s for the bout against Canadian author Craig “The Crippler” Davidson, who’d fought poet Michael Knox last fall when the Canuck edition of THE FIGHTER was released and had come to New York – fitter and leaner even since BEA – to promote the American edition published by Soho Press.
I’d expected something of a blowout on either side but the match ended up being rather close – both Ames (who attracted attention for his entourage) and Davidson landed solid blows to head and torso, though one audience member commented afterwards at the post-game drinks at Rebar that Ames’ parrying was more theatrical while Davidson landed many more counterpunches. But as to why, as Vulture correspondent Alex Littlefield wondered, “the match seemed to end in a draw,” it’s because an exhibition fight held in New York City can’t officially end with a winner or a loser as no points were counted nor were any judges on the premises. So both Ames and Davidson held up trophies, each professing that they “were glad the match was over.”
A couple of opening acts entertained the crowd right before the match, announced with suitable authority by Ed Champion. First up was the lovely Miss Saturn, whose expertise at hula hooping was really quite something to behold – all the oohing and aahing were much deserved. Then came the card-holders, Patrick “The Mangina” Bucklew and Valmonte Sprout who looked less NSFW than the photo suggests but still were a little more outre than various publicists were expecting.
And I, too, must agree that there’s something about bloodsport that brings out more straight men to a publishing-related event. Nota bene for future readings and author events for all the publicists reading here!