The Fight on

Here’s the funny + surreal short ‘The Fight’, starring art writer, style guru + Warhol acolyte Glenn O’Brien as the announcer at a boxing match between Belgian model Hannelore Knuts + Ghana-born American boxer-turned-trainer Kwame Davis.  Directed + conceived by Douglas Keeve, the film features the sport of boxing that’s been a mens-only sport until the 2012 Olympics where women’s boxing was first allowed.  Keeve told NOWNESS, ‘This fantastical + comedic bout between Hannelore + Kwame gives a nod to women who continue to break boundaries.’

I love how Glenn introduces Davis as the one in the black trunks + Knuts in the black bra.  What about Knuts’ gear-love her bra with two regular straps + one across, similar to that of a gladiator.  And how great is it that Knuts has costume changes-talk about a game changer?!  But the Twitter birds spinning around Davis when he gets knocked out is just too much.

NOWNESS asked Glenn O’Brien about his memories about the sport + this is what he had to say:

Men + women crowded around their TVs to watch athletes pound each other in the ring, trying to knock the other unconscious, sometimes as us kids looked on. Huge cuts emerging around their eyes. Punches shot blood + sweat into the third-row spectators.  

Knocked-out men hitting the canvas or slumping onto the ropes where, if the refs didn’t stop it, their opponent might kill them. I saw Emile Griffith kill Benny “The Kid” Paret on live TV in 1962.  He didn’t actually die until ten days later. Griffith was enraged since Paret called him a maricón [derogatory Spanish slang for a gay person] at the weigh in. There were no ‘out’ athletes then + Griffith has since owned up to swinging both ways outside the ring too. He felt very bad about Benny Paret. Those were very macho days + boxing was even more savage than today’s ultimate fighting.  

Glenn O’Brien’s performance is  loosely based on Howard Cosell, the great cliché sportscaster of his youth.  


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