It’s easy to lose track of the American spirit when the current US climate is in constant disarray. From healthcare to furloughs, the American dream has become blurred and weakened from all the political decay forced upon society. Regardless of your political affiliation, it’s important to soak in the feel good stories when they arise organically.
This ideology is why I don’t understand the decline in boxing popularity because boxing is filled with heartfelt stories that have a strong correlation with the everyday human struggles. Boxers endure triumph and tragedy in the same context that the average citizen does, but it’s inspiring when you see a fighter on the verge of capturing individual success because it can give hope to those seeking examples of the light at the end of the tunnel.
Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (23-0, 19KOs) is a fighter that has had a life full of trials and tribulations, yet he is about to take the first major step in his career when he squares off against Jessie Vargas (21-0, 9KOs) in a 10 round welterweight co-feature of HBO’s doubleheader this Saturday. Omotoso and Vargas will open up the telecast which features a welterweight title scrap between Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov.
The Nigerian born Omotoso had a tough upbringing to say the least, but he has fought through every obstacle just to put himself in a position to fight. Now, he is making his HBO debut against Vargas and he has prepared himself for a career defining moment.
“I want to win, I’m looking forward to the “W” and it will be undefeated vs. undefeated and that’s how [the fans] want it. It’s going to be a war because neither guy wants to lose, but I’m going in like I’ve got my entire life and the future of my career on the line. I know he’s got some speed, but I’ve got more power and it’ll be a good night for power,” Omotoso said.
“Lucky Boy” isn’t just in it to win it; he feels he has to put on the kind of lasting performance that will have fans clamoring to see him again.
“I have to put on a good performance and be exciting, he’s been a favorite but when I go in there and beat him the way I will beat him the fans will take notice. I’ll shock everyone and the [boxing world] will know me and love what I do.”
Vargas has been in some tough fights in his career and even though his resume is somewhat shallow, he does possess the kind of ring experience that could be vital. We know that Vargas is willing to exchange and we could be in for a solid scrap, but how will he fair toe to toe against a fighter with the kind of power of Omotoso? “Lucky Boy” believes Vargas won’t do himself any favors if he decides to stand and exchange.
“If he does that it will be the last mistake he will ever make. I’m ready and I hope he comes at me [aggressive] because I will show him why it isn’t good for him and he’ll learn real fast,” Omotoso explained.
“Lucky Boy” isn’t an American born fighter, but the American dream is enriched when men like him succeed because only then are the depths of motivation fully captured. It’s truly inspirational when a person can consider himself “lucky” after enduring the kind of street life that Omotoso was forced to endure. I guess the risks associated to boxing are somewhat trivialized when you consider Omotoso’s everyday life as a child where he saw violence plague his neighborhood. Fighting was a means of survival for a young Wale, and it still is, but being able to step in a ring and fight for a purse is a lot different than stepping to another individual to fight for your life. Omotoso’s courage rests in his optimism and he will take that into the ring on Saturday.
“I do this for my country and I do it for my family, but I also do it for me because where I come from [opportunities] like these don’t happen for the people,” Omotoso said. “I’m a street boy and I lived a life that has made me appreciate every little thing. I truly am a lucky boy, not because of what could happen for me but because of the things that already have. Being able to dream makes me a lucky boy.”