Ain't that a kick in the head
This was in late summer of 1980. It was two blocks south of Broadway on Main. I guess about two in the morning. I had been out clubbing. I got off the bus and started walking home. Two guys confront me. One guy was a big guy, and the other guy was about my size.
The big one was the leader. He says I look gay. Am I a fag? I deny. Okay. This starts. These guys were looking for a victim. And I'm it. I know now, I know this: you can't negotiate your way out of this kind of shit. Start fighting immediately or indicate a willingness to hurt and make them believe it. Or start running. Call for help. But no one was around. Or, or, just take your beating.
I'm about 25 years old here. This was before I started boxing. Boxing may or may not have helped because it's hard to give away 50 or 60 lbs. I mean just as an amateur boxer.
But I tried to talk my way out of it. I offered to fight the little guy, "He's my size." No. No, that won't wash.
I could feel the tension ratcheting up. The big guy is enjoying his sense of power. It's the typical bully stuff.
Finally, I figure it's inevitable, and I throw a soft looping right hand on his chin. I might as well get one in. For King and country.
The next thing I remember is I'm in an area. I'm sitting on a gurney. "Where am I?" "You're in the hospital." I was in the emergency ward of St. Pauls Hospital in the West End. "How did I get here?"
A woman had seen me lying in the street and called an ambulance. They check me over and ask me questions. What happened? I'm okay, but I have a perforated left eardrum.
My balance is shaky for a couple of weeks.
This was the only time I have ever been knocked out either in or out of the ring. It is an unsettling feeling. It's humiliating. I was traumatized for a while.
When a guy gets knocked out in the ring, he might be on the stool when he fully comes to. The first words out of his mouth are: "What happened?" "You got knocked out." "When?" You tell him the round. "What was it?" He wants to know what the punch was. He didn't see it. Guaranteed. It's a strange feeling being separated from your senses; being helpless.
Now, later on, I started working with Ollenberger at the cemetery. Jamie Ollenberger the boxer. I join his gym, and a large part of my motivation was I had to deal with the trauma of getting beat up by strangers in public. I want to be able to defend myself.
Eventually, I tell him the story about those two guys He knows them. He knows all these East Vancouver low lives. He talks to this guy. What happened is the guy kicked me in the head. That's what put me out. The guy says that he will let it go if I will. Which, yeah I didn't want to fight him in the first place! The guy was too fucking big.
This guy said my punch hurt him. Maybe. I could punch. But I doubt it. I think he was just making nice. This guy apologized. I could have got revenge on the little guy. But what was the percentage? He was just some tag along loser.
Naturally, I started to see these guys around. I was hanging out with Jaime when we weren't training,and we scored pot off these guys and what not. These guys were all petty criminals. Most of them had done time. Ollengerger avoided that life because he had boxing.