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Fight Night

Here's how you know you've spent the previous night at a boxing event: when, the next morning, your notebook still smells so strongly of cigar smoke that you're somewhat worried it might spontaneously burst into flames and blow its smoke into your face and then talk about some [bleepin] business deal it just consummated with some other [bleeper].

And here's how you know you're attending an especially classy boxing event: when, within 30 seconds of entering the Washington Hilton, you run into both the Hooters Girls and the Redskinettes.

And here's how you know you're not really cut out to be a tuxedo-and-cigar-and-boxing kind of guy: when you keep leaving Fight Night, which several attendees insist is D.C.'s best social evening of the year, to go upstairs and sit by yourself in the bar and watch Louisville beat West Virginia.

And here's even more proof: when you're more excited to see local sports celebrities like Kevin Sheehan and Bram Weinstein from that dorky sports talk radio station, and like GW women's basketball coach Joe McKeown, than boxing legends like Joe Frazier, Jake LaMotta, Hector Camacho Sr., Michael Spinks, Roberto Duran, Micky Ward, Aaron Pryor, Gerry Cooney and Buster Douglas, who I believe received the biggest cheers of the night, which wasn't the only thing big about him, if you know what I'm saying.

(Other celebrities in attendance, with the word "celebrity" loosely defined for D.C. purposes: Politicos Vincent Gray, Jack Evans, Vincent Orange and Robert Bobb, Redskin Chris Samuels (reportedly), Mario Andretti (who joined the party by smoking a cigar and standing up to try to see the boxing, which was necessary due to certain height issues), Michael Steele (who had security), the guy who sold me my mortgage (whom I had never before met), Adrian Fenty and Chief Ramsey and Fred Malek (sitting together at the most desirable ringside table), and then a whole bunch of those classic D.C. people like Franklin Raines, Michael Saylor, Mark Ein, at least one of the Jemals and Jim Kimsey, who are such celebrities that I didn't recognize any of them and had to google all of their names to see how to spell them.)

And here's how you know that American civilization really is in decline: when the silent auction for Fight Night features an autographed Dr. J ABA red-white-and-blue basketball, with a minimum bid of $400, and also an autographed Mario Lopez poster, with a minimum bid of $350. You're telling me Mario Lopez is within $50 of Dr. J. on any scale of value to society? I'd say the gap is more like infinity.

(If you don't know what Fight Night is, it's a bunch of different sorts of rich men getting together to be served drinks by models in evening gowns, and to fist bump each other in various extremely embarrassing ways for men of their age, and to blow cigar smoke in my face, and to purchase and get autographs on Redskins Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendars, with "Swimsuits" in some cases meaning "No Swimsuits," if you know what I'm saying, and to watch occasionally mediocre boxing, and to raise just absurd amounts of money for charity.) (Some rich guy, for example, bid $110,000 for a custom-made bike from Hardcore Choppers, and some other rich guys bid $100,000 each for flags that flew in Iraq. At the silent auction, the minimum bid for an autographed 1929 Yankees baseball was $6k. Minimum bid for two badges to the 2007 Masters was $5k. How Mario Lopez made the cut for that same silent auction, I have no idea.)

(I didn't go to the afterparty at the Ritz, although one guy promised me it would be "like [bleepin] Caligula." I guess I'll write more about this later, but I've got to go watch the Caps' morning skate.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 3, 2006; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  Fighting Sports  
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