Posted tagged ‘Boxing legends’

Chibber at The Garden

June 23, 2010

(Taken from The Chibber Papers)

The cab driver was motoring in rectangles, driving from west 54th street onto 1st avenue then west 56th street, east 56th street to 2nd avenue. The cabbie told us he was a septuplet or octuplet, he couldn’t remember. He also couldn’t count for Hershey bars.

Eventually we arrived at Madison Square Gardens for a very important event. Harry Chibberson, Chibber to his friends, was about to box Mike Tyson for the Heavyweight title circa late 1987. As his manager that day and if my memory serves me correct, most of the following is true.

The pre-fight weigh in of a few days before produced its usual scuffle. Chibber was unhappy with the constant swearing of Tyson. Cus this and Cus that. All that Cussing with ladies present angered Chibber. I tried to explain to him that the Cus was for Tyson’s former trainer: Cus D’Amato. Poor Chibber, not a contender for brain of Britain.

Sitting in the changing room I was glad I wasn’t in Chibber’s shorts. Here he was about to fight the undefeated, undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world, the baddest man on the planet, the ferocious young man from Brooklyn nicknamed Kid Dynamite. Now its one thing making haggis of the unwashed benefit cheats on Royston Road, Iron Mike doesn’t have a sheep’s liver. Chibber had every right to be scared and looking at him, I wondered what was going through his mind at this minute.

“Rocky versus Aliens would make a good film, don’t you think?”

Final preparations were made before we entered the Coliseum. I offered Chibber a gum shield that he declined. He said the gum guard makes him talk funny. Trying to warn him of the dangers of breaking a jaw he was unperturbed and would rub Bonjela teething gel on his mouth if it were sore.

To the screams and taunts of the baying horde in the auditorium we were first into the ring. Harry Carpenter was ring side and he wished Chibber good luck. “Get in there, Chibber!” Dance of the Knights blared from the speakers signalling Tyson’s entrance. And now he was angry, this wasn’t his usual rap drivel welcoming music. Incandescent, he was hurling punches at various members of the mob and looked absolutely terrifying. No one would forgive Chibber throwing in the towel at this moment and he made the profound comment.

“She’s got legs that go right up to her bum.”

I surveyed Tyson before I cottoned on to what he was talking about. Chibber was eyeing up the leggie lovely ring girl.

After the preliminaries the fight got underway. Tyson started strongly with a one-two combination and a thundering left hook. These blistering hits would have weakened most men but not the ice cold Chibber and he started sledging.

“My granny can hit me harder than that.”

Tyson’s gum shielded response was unintelligible. It sounded something like this.

“Ayt. Fayt ak bampot, Cus.”

“I’ve had enough of your bad language.”

Pow! Bang! Banjo! Wallop! Crash! Thud! Chibber pulverised the New Yorker who must have thought it was Hogmanay. Tyson was lying concussed on the canvas with a loft of pigeons circling his head. The referee began his count.

“One-ah, two-ah…three..ah, five? No, three-ah, five-ah. Is it five?”

Chibber and I both thought we knew this ref from somewhere. He was the double of the cab driver, one of the other septuplets or Octuplets; A Waltonian family with the counting prowess of a walnut. To knock some sense into the ref’s head Chibber gave him a small jab to his skull. He collapsed like a lead balloon onto Iron Mike just as Tyson was beginning to come round and during this clinch he nibbled the ref’s ears.