Today at the gym I sparred with my trainer Charles 'Chillie' Wilson. It has been about a month since the last time and I sparred four good rounds with him. I was a little rusty but I thought I did alright, not one of my best days but it was a good work-out and I worked up my usual good sweat.
I remember a moment when 'Chillie' was against the ropes and I was punching trying to create an opening and out of nowhere he threw a short, sharp clean left hook that got me flush on the ear. When the punch landed it made a sound like a 'Pop' and it stunned me more than it hurt. I took the punch like a champ and kept going at him. In the four rounds that we did today that was the punch that I remembered most because it was a beautiful punch!
In that second I thought about the time when Sugar Ray Robinson fought Gene Fullmer on May 1, 1957 at Chicago Stadium. It was a return bout because Robinson had lost his middleweight crown on January 2ND of the same year to Fullmer.
It was the fifth round and a minute and twenty-seven seconds later Robinson threw the prettiest left hook as he was going backwards and caught Fullmer flush on the side of his face. Fullmer didn't see that punch coming just like I didn't see the same punch thrown by 'Chillie'. Robinson got his middleweight title back for the fourth time and Fullmer had no memory of what happened and was disoriented from a punch the went straight to the record books of boxing history.
Here's a fun fact for you: When Fullmer talked about that fight in particular he said, "Robinson was in the corner jumping up and down, and I thought he's in marvelous condition. How come he's doing exercises between rounds?" Robinson was celebrating, not exercising, his corner man said to him.
I got another one for you: When Fullmer was being introduced to his future wife, she wanted to know more about him. Someone educated her about the Robinson/Fullmer fight. "I'm going to be dating the loser" she said.
Believe me, the rough and tough Gene Fullmer is no loser! He went on to fight Robinson two more times with one being a draw on December 3, 1960 and the other on March 4, 1961. Both of those bouts were for the National Boxing Association World middleweight title.
Whenever somebody talks about 'The Perfect Punch' and if you know anything about boxing, the Fullmer/Robinson fight should come to mind.
Some people sit around and wait for inspiration to hit them on the button to get a story going. Me on the other hand I had to actually feel the punch to reawaken the light bulb inside my head. You'll never know when the sudden burst of ideas start to crowd your mind and fill every seat like Madison Square Garden. It could happen in the middle of the night when you're sleeping, so that means you have to ditch your little teddy bear and sleep with pen and paper next to you when the bulb starts burning. If you're driving, pull over and write your idea down before you forget it. When I'm not in the ring getting punched with ideas to write, I'm usually seen with a small notebook pad and pen on me at all times.
I leave you now with the Fullmer vs. Robinson fight and watch it all! Something might hit you with inspiration and you got to be ready for it.