“Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free…” – from the sonnet “The New Colossus” engraved and mounted inside THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
“[We] have decided that Dereck Chisora is not a fit and proper person to hold a British Boxing Board of Control Boxers License and his license has been withdrawn with immediate effect.” – March 14 statement by the BRITISH BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL
Immigrants. We love ‘em.
Heck, that’s what the United States is all about, right? We are the proverbial “melting pot” of the world, as famed writer Israel Zangwill put so eloquently at the turn of the twentieth century, and that hasn’t changed no matter how your Democratic or Republican or Independent politician tries to frame the debate.
We are what we are. We’re different. We’re America.
Dereck Chisora is different, too.
To say the guy is rough around the edges is the understatement of the day. He’s vile and crude. He’s mean and nasty. He spits water in people’s faces and says he’s going to “literally” shoot them. He’s the big bad wolf.
But that’s how we like out fighters over here in the U.S., right?
Isn’t that what made Mike Tyson the icon of his time? Oh how we loved his stories about how he used to knock out old ladies for their purse money on the mean streets of Brooklyn. And yeah, we cringed when he tried to break people’s arms or tear out chunks of their flesh with his teeth, but all the while we emptied out our pockets to buy all the Mike Tyson money could afford.
He was one of us.
Even our unofficial national treasure, Muhammad Ali, has faults we gloss right over. It’s the American way, after all.
Sure, we preach to our kids that bullies are bad and that being a responsible and respectable part of society is important, but we don’t care about all the mean things Ali said about Joe Frazier. Calling someone a “gorilla” is okay if you’re doing it in good fun, right?
It’s especially okay if it’s to hype a fight.
And we revel in Ali’s beat down of Ernie Terrell when the latter refused to call Ali by his then-new Muslim name. “What’s my motherf [#@&] ing name?!” he screamed as we urged him to bludgeon the hapless Terrell with both punches and insults over fifteen, one-sided and butt-kicking rounds. Who cares if Terrell had explained he simply hadn’t gotten used to calling the fighter he knew before as Cassius Clay his new name? It was good theatre.
No, we are not like our friends from across the pond.
When Chisora’s antics reached our eyes and ears, we were entertained more than anything. Sure, we don’t condone his actions but that doesn’t keep us from enjoying the show, right? So while the Brits were aghast with horror at the guy who was representing their country on the national stage, we were more just…you know…watching it unfold.
Right or wrong, it’s who we are. Americans don’t care if their fighters are good human beings in the least bit. We don’t care if their gentlemen or if they follow all the rules. We like them to smile but as long as they win, we are on board. And even if they don’t win, as long as they are entertaining, we will support them.
Nope, here in America, we just want our fighters to be fighters. We want them to kick ass and take names. And if they ruffle a few feathers or cause someone (even themselves) to get “glassed” while they do it, so be it.
So come on over, Dereck Chisora. Uncle Sam wants you. The BBBofC won’t license you to fight, but we will. You don’t want to be the model citizen? We don’t care.
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