You know, sometimes this job takes us to some really horrible places. I don’t mean dangerous, vulnerable, poverty-stricken, hard-to-handle places in the world. No, they are interesting, educational and quite often pretty character-building. That’s what is so great about this job: it gives us the privilege of stepping out of the ‘normal’ working day to embrace the worlds of so many people of all walks of life.
No, when I say horrible, I mean just ugly and… well horrible! Tonight we are filming a kick-boxing championship (of a kind) and it’s like we have been thrown into another world. An underworld like nothing I have ever experienced… Jack Branning’s boxing ring on Albert Square is like a flower show compared to this!
Young boys elevated above their peers in their shiny gear, flexing their pecks and giving it large in the ring. That’s okay. Everyone loves testosterone and confidence… and sport. However, somehow it doesn’t feel like that. You know who’s going to win before they’ve reached their corner, there are unanimous boos and cheers towards blue and red and, although I can hardly watch and reach for the comfort of words on my iPad, you can’t help but stick up for the boy who has the so-white-it’s-blue skin, non-triangular body free of tattoos and relatively puny arms. What is he doing there? Subjected to some hard boy alter ego that he is not? Belonging? Is that it? What is this all about?
Meanwhile, at ringside, there are people shouting and screaming like they are watching dogs tear chunks out of each other. Maybe that would be easier to watch? The atmosphere is fuelled and taut. It’s that tension when you are in a pub and you feel a fight about to break out, only this has been going on for four hours now. Fight after fight, men and women alike are shouting “fight”, “hit him”, “he’s not your mum” (minus the expletives) along with other terms of encouragement while two boys, their bodies marked red, faces puffing and dazed, are punched, kicked and bounced from rope to floor.
Round three is the worst, or rather it was until the fights started going five rounds. They’re wiping the blood from the floor of the ring between rounds now. Puffy faces are now burst and the raucous crowd are smothering the ringside ready, I am quite sure, to get on in and have a go.
And so the fights get longer, the outfits shinier, the atmosphere more putrid and the hits so very painfully resounding as the last remaining spaces on the tables are swallowed up completely by empty beer tins and plastic cups. There is no relationship between the two I might add.
As with all experiences this job brings our way, I guess we shall be grateful (in time) for having had the opportunity to be part of something we would never ever have walked into of our own accord. I like sport and watch the big boxing fights on the television, but this is just something else. Something just horrid.
Blog by video production company Rumble TV
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