by Fox Doucette
Good evening, ladies and gentleducks, and welcome to a special Halloween edition of Historical Fight night! We’re dispensing with all things serious this week and giving you one rematch of by far our silliest fight to date, as Joe Calzaghe takes on Nigel Benn, and rather than put them in a time machine, we’ve just kept them in 2015 since their first fateful contest back on July 24...and a main event that features none other than Bugs Bunny, put in the “time machine” from the classic cartoon “Rabbit Punch”, taking on First Name Mister, Middle Name Period, Last Name T, who gets the animation treatment courtesy of Ruby-Spears and the personality treatment courtesy of Clubber Lang. I pity the fool who don’t laugh.
Since last they fought, Calzaghe and Benn have been undergoing “special” training for this rematch, which is a no-holds barred old-school World Wrestling Federation scrap to the death. Referee Vic Drakulich is out; his replacement is Earl Hebner, who comes in via time machine from the Montreal Screwjob. In addition, the laws of physics have been temporarily repealed as the ghost of Tex Avery powers an infernal machine on a floating continent with Lovecraftian…hey, just work with me here.
As for Bugs Bunny, Mr. T must seem like a welcome step down in competition after the rabbit’s contest with Battling McGook over 110 rounds before the film broke in 1948. In addition, T is perhaps a bit woozy after we drugged him and put him on a plane. Oh, Mr. T, will you never learn not to take a glass of milk from Hannibal Smith?
From the Floating Continent of Zeal, itself pulled forward in time from 12,000 BC, the power of Lavos replaced by a General Atomics nuclear reactor that someone stole out of the wreck of Liberty Prime in Maryland and threw as a temporal shotgun snap backward to 2015 to power the Mammon Machine, these fights are scheduled for as many rounds as damn well necessary until a winner is decided. There are no holds barred, and in the words of Tex Avery, “In a cartoon you can do anything.”
So, with all due solemnity toward madness and with the anthem of the Soviet Union playing to start the proceedings with no particular connection to the nationality of any of the participants…
Let’s Make Silliness.
Joe Calzaghe vs. Nigel Benn
For Benn, who escaped with a technical decision after Calzaghe’s dirty tactics nearly led to his disqualification in the last contest, this was a chance to show his enemy what he really thought of him. The rabbit punches, the elbows, his nearly having been brained by a foil-wrapped sandwich in the culinary projectile storm that led to the halt being called to that first bout…no. None of this would be allowed to stand. Vengeance was the only way.
Meanwhile, Calzaghe, freed of worry of being disqualified, had his gloves willingly examined prior to the fight, and as the gloves were upended and shaken out, out dropped four horseshoes in succession…followed by the whole horse, which upon being whipped, yelled “Neigh! Neigh!” and cantered off.
With the pleasantries exchanged, the bell sounded, and…
Calzaghe wasted no time establishing just what kind of fight this was going to be. He delivered a kick, beyond mortal ken, into the crotch of Nigel Benn. Benn, doubled over in pain, was then rabbit punched several times, but since he had prepared for just such an occasion by installing an adamantium plate subdermally to protect his brain stem, all Calzaghe got for his trouble was a set of sore knuckles.
Benn rose to his feet, the red mist descending over his eyes because some idiot had mixed theatrical blood into the Cool Zone fans that kept the fighters from overheating; damn, was it ever toasty inside a nuclear-powered arena. He delivered several swift punches to the face of Calzaghe, who retreated into the corner, protected himself, and heard the bell sound to end the round.
In between rounds, Calzaghe put on some steel-reinforced elbow and forearm pads and set back to work throwing everything from the fist up as a weapon. This time, it was Benn’s turn to get the worst of it, as he could not be completely plated in adamantium on account of the stuff weighs a ton.
“Should’ve used bloody mithril”, Benn thought to himself as the onslaught continued. Calzaghe completely dominated the second round and administered a similarly savage beating throughout rounds three and four; as the fifth round began, Calzaghe was in complete control of the fight.
Someone passed a bottle of Panama’s Delicious And Not At All Illicit Elixir of Strength to Benn during the break between the fourth and fifth rounds, and something looked a little…different…about the dark-skinned fighter as he came out to fight the fifth.
For one thing, he was…bigger. No longer a super middleweight, he now looked to be about five hundred pounds of muscle, and what’s more, he had grown to a height of eight feet and turned green besides. He began to administer a savage one-man-wrecking-crew beatdown to Calzaghe, throwing the Welshman around like a rag doll, cowing Earl Hebner into submission as the referee dared not intervene; indeed, Hebner cowered behind the ring post, his pants brown, his only sound that of a whimpering puppy.
The slaughter continued; indeed, it looked as though this super mutant was going to kill Calzaghe then turn his attention on all in attendance and rip them to shreds as well. The bell sounded, and what little connection Benn had to his humanity was enough to summon him back to his corner.
Which was all the time Calzaghe needed, as Tommy Farr, Jimmy “The Mighty Atom” Wilde, Brian Curvis, and the Merthyr Marvel Eddie Thomas all came out of the stands to join with Calzaghe, muttering an incantation that was all consonants and completely unpronounceable, morphing them into a single super fighter.
Someone brought a Welsh flag down to ringside, and by the dire magic of the spell cast, the dragon on the flag morphed into a weapon of such infernal capacity that Calzagtron wielded it like a flamethrower.
If indeed a fighter could go out in a blaze of glory, such was the fate of Nigel Benn. All that remained was a pile of blackened powder…and what appeared to be Stan Lee’s license plate stolen off his car, used to such effect in the first round.
The fight was over, and Nigel Benn was toast. Literally.
RESULT: CALZAGTRON KO6 (BURNINATION) SUPER MUTANT BENN.
Bugs Bunny (4/10/1948) vs. Mr. T (10/1/1983)
Before the fight began, Mr. T was asked if he had any animosity toward his opponent, and he said “I don’t hate Bugs Bunny. I just pity the fool.” Julia Child, herself put in a time machine from an old episode of The French Chef, was on hand to create a dish of rabbit stew in the event of a Mr. T victory, and T’s gymnastics team from the cartoon series was also in attendance cheering on their coach.
Bugs had in his corner his trainer, Daffy Duck, who had himself had a distinguished boxing career, scoring a knockout over Elmer Fudd in 1943’s “To Duck Or Not To Duck”, which is itself a question Adonis Stevenson wrestles with when the subject of Sergey Kovalev comes up. Your referee is Animated Chuck Norris (from Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos), and the big sumo guy from that cartoon is ringside in case things really start getting hairy.
Bugs came out of the corner in a chatty mood, encouraging his opponent and saying “let’s see that right cross, give him the ol’ one-two, let’s see what you got, Champ, let’s have a good fight…”
…and Mr. T sent him flying back into the corner with a big left-hand haymaker from the southpaw stance.
Bugs picked himself up, dusted himself off, and rather than allow himself to be dropped twice more as happened in the McGook fight, Bugs immediately resorted to “stragedy”, as he came out looking to extend a handshake to his opponent as a gesture of fair play.
Mr. T took Bugs’ hand…and lit up like Times Square, bolts of lightning crackling around his body, his legs splayed out straight up in the air in a wild take. When Bugs let go, T, smoke rising from his head, turned cherry red and steam came from his ears. The sound of a train chugging to life came from the corner as T rotated his fists and came forward shuffling his feet before crashing into Bugs and sending him flying back into his corner as the bell sounded to end the round.
Bugs decided next to come out with some help. He summoned his cut man, and the Mega Man robot of the same name came out to the center of the ring, whereupon he scissored off the trunks of Mr. T, revealing bright polka-dot underwear. T blushed, smiled modestly, and slinked back to his corner with his arms crossed over his crotch, where he was supplied with a new set of trunks, which he put on and returned to the center of the ring.
Bugs was waiting and said “Hold this for me, would ya, Mac?” T then came into possession of a round bomb with a burning fuse, which exploded, and when the smoke cleared, a dazed T heard the bell to end round two.
Between the tenth and eleventh rounds, Mr. T assembled an impromptu brick wall around his glove, intending to hit Bugs with it. He came out of the corner with a sly grin on his face, his fist concealed, and as he loaded up to deliver the punch, Bugs whipped out a running jackhammer out of the clear blue sky, using it to shatter the bricks and mortar, which had the added effect of making Mr. T shake with the same cadence as the jackhammer himself. When he stopped shaking, he was momentarily dazed, and it was on that occasion that Bugs, who had himself prepared a comically oversized mallet for the occasion, brought the hammer down directly onto the head of his opponent. The bell once again sounded, leaving questions as to the competence of the timekeeper and a further reminder that fighters could indeed be saved by the bell in any round.
An attractive ring card girl paraded around the ring before having a wardrobe malfunction, and an entire leering crowd was treated to one hell of a visual show. All those in attendance morphed into wolves and did wild takes as all eyes were glued on the ring card girl, and boy, did she look funny with all those eyes glued on her. Up came the old-school burlesque stripper music, and the fight was temporarily halted, as indeed, there was porn of it. No exceptions.
Finally, the two combatants brought in the heavy artillery. How they got those cannons through the arena doors, nobody knows, but the noses of the cannons were pressed right up against each other, and as each fighter pulled the starter string, there was a thundering roar, the cannons were blown back out the walls of the arena, and in the center of the ring, two cannonballs hovered an improbably long time in the air before falling back to ground with a metallic “thunk”.
Before the round began, a strange man in a hat went into Mr. T’s corner and said “Here you go, Champ, drink this.” T consumed the bubbling concoction in the bottle and got a wide, bug-eyed look as he came out to the center of the ring, where he met up with…nothing at all.
Where was Bugs Bunny? Where was Daffy Duck? Where, for that matter, was Chuck Norris?
They, along with the entire crowd, had retreated to a heavily shielded bunker outside the arena, where Bugs pressed a big, shiny, candy-like red button, and in an earth-shattering kaboom, louder than the wrath of the gods, with a flash that faded the picture to white for a moment, and with a mushroom cloud, the atomic beverage went up, taking a floating continent with it and ensuring a victory at terrible cost for the best Warner Brothers had in its stable.
RESULT: BUGS BUNNY KO77 (NUCLEAR EXPLOSION) MR. T
We hope you enjoyed our foray into madness this week, and next week, we’re back to our old serious habits, as we light up the Cohibas and bring on the rum. It’s a Cuban-themed episode in San Dimas as Jose Napoles takes on Kid Gavilan in the main event.
The co-feature is a cruiserweight contest between Orlin Norris and O’Neil Bell, as we have so far ignored the cruisers except for the Holyfield/Marciano tilt from a much earlier episode. Should be a fun introduction before the main event.
As always, we’re on at 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific, every Friday, right here on The Boxing Tribune, and a few hours after the conclusion of the fight (it’s usually up there by 7 Pacific most weeks), you can check out Let’s Make History, our behind-the-scenes column and impromptu pledge drive, over at Patreon—just click on “Creator Posts”, it’s now a free feature for all, not just for donors, but it gives you a chance to help support the show.
Thanks for reading, and see you next week!