Fight week is usually heightened by the events that surround the fight itself. Of course, if it is a fight with the hype of a Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia then the week is usually entertaining enough without any further incentives or accommodations. But when you’re part of the media you tend to see things from a different perspective. For example, media events like the weigh-in or the final press conference are pretty much the standard experience. Without any misunderstandings, these events can be just as fun for media as they are for the fans, sometimes more so, but there are rarely any unseen surprises or turn of events for a seasoned pro.
However, the Thurman-Garcia fight week was one of the most memorable in my experiences. It began on Monday morning of the fight week when, sitting in my driveway, the 2017 Mazda 6 Grand Touring was dropped off to me for the use of everything Thurman-Garcia related. My excitement was instantly raised for a fight week that I had already been counting down the days for in anticipation.
Yes, Thurman-Garcia was going to be a great fight and I could not wait to capture the atmosphere while traveling in style from event to event with the culmination coming on fight night at the Barclays Center, only miles away from my home in New Jersey. But the true main event for Thaboxingvoice was Friday night’s appreciation night for listeners lucky enough to be in attendance. We were going to bring together the TBV crew with all of our supporters and simultaneously give listeners the chance to meet some of their favorite fighters that would be in attendance.
The event scheduling was running smoother than past Appreciation Nights and I was ready to make my arrival in the stylistic Mazda 6. I loved this car from the moment I saw it and its features stuck out like Kanye West’s Jesus piece at a fugazi jewelry store. With gun metal rims and a shark like aggression design in the front portion of the car, this was exactly the kind of sporty looking vehicle needed to make an impression at the Appreciation Night.
I picked up fellow TBV co-host Matthew Hunter from the Newark Airport down the street from my place, but that did not satisfy my desire to drive this new ride. We ended up driving around for some last minute preparations for the week and that’s when I really got to familiarize myself with the touch radio and the heated seats. Right away, I loved the huge sunroof the Mazda 6 Grand Touring had and even though I quit cigarettes a few years ago, the oversized sunroof is perfect for smokers.
I took the car to every event and it was spacious enough to handle all the equipment and all of TBV’s staff. We were four deep when it was time to head to the media workouts. Thurman was putting on some impressive displays of athleticism, but I also got to touch base with Andrzej Fonfara and Peter Quillin, who was scheduled to be at the Appreciation Night.
By the time Friday came I was pumped and decided to get to the Appreciation Night early. I knew that if I got to the event by 6 I would be able to park right in the front of the venue. To do that, I had to leave my place by 4:45PM in order to make the necessary stops before arriving. I was with my girl who loved the car and had no problem getting to my destination on time with the surprising power in the car’s 4-cylinder 2.5 liter engine. I have never driven a 4-cylinder with so much kick and the torque I got out of it was amazing. In fact, that’s what seemed so perfect about the Mazda 6 was that even though this was a night out on the town, the car was still economical enough for the family. It is sporty enough for a night out with the boys, but the wife would have no problem handling the ride when taking the kids to whatever activities.
The night was perfect and went along as planned. The venue was set up in a way that increased the atmosphere. It was a red carpet type of night, but boxing fans are the coolest people on the planet, especially TBV FAM, so there was a real casual vibe happening. We had drinks, shared laughs, and of course made predictions for the following night’s fight between welterweights Thurman and Garcia.
I got nothing but props from people who rode with me. The only problem was that everyone that got to ride with me once wanted to ride with me again and I ended up making a few trips from Brooklyn to Queens and back again on fight night. Of course, I took the ride with me to the Barclays Center and the rearview camera came in handy for all the reverse parking I was doing.
Keith Thurman ended up with the win and the belts at the end of the night, but we did not end the night there. After putting in hours of work during the fight card as well as the post-fight, the entire crew went out for round 2. It was not as big as the Appreciation Night, but it was just as memorable as we shared our takes on the fight. It was one of the most memorable fight weeks I’ve ever experienced, but the Appreciation Nights will only get bigger and better from this moment on as TBV grows.