“Laaaadieeess aaaaand gentlemeennnnn!!! In this coah-nah, from the great state of sunny Flo-rid-aahh, weighing in at 190 pounds of solid tamales, not to be confused with a ‘Gorgeous George’ of anoth-ahh er-ahh, the one and only neigh-bah-hood watchman ex-tra-oah-din-aire—-Creeeee
That’s how I imagine should be the proper, time-honored and traditional circus-like bellowing style of the announcer for what promises to be the Main Event of 2014, the Fight of the Century, the tabloid armageddon that could just make us all forget about Justin Bieber for at least a little while.
I saw the story in my email inbox, featured on our affiliated website, GirlsJustWannaHaveGuns.com. The linked article takes readers to the TMZ.com website, with the headline: “George Zimmerman Agrees To Celeb Boxing Match: I’ll Fight Anyone…Even Black People.”
As a caveat, to my knowledge, that phrase, I’ll fight anyone…even black people is not something Zimmerman actually said, just the TMZ editor’s way of putting words in Zimmerman’s mouth, seeing as Zimmerman has said he’ll take on whoever winds up being selected as his opponent, regardless of race. Promoter Damon Feldman is quoted as saying, “We’re not looking at it as a race thing … We haven’t discussed purple, yellow, white, black.”
Still, yikes! My first reaction was to comment, in several places on social media, that I love George, and I hope he prevails, but that it is an unwise move in many ways.
Besides the obvious, outrageous uproar and hair-trigger (no irony intended!) sensitivites and passions that would certainly be negatively aroused by the event–especially when you consider that its pugilistic nature is rather identical to that of the incident which made Zimmerman famous in the first place–what troubled me most about the idea is the fact that a considerable amount of the sworn testimony in State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman concerned the fact that Zimmerman was simply unable, by his very nature, to physically defend himself with his hands.
During the trial, the owner of the gym where Zimmerman had once trained, attempted to get in shape, and tried to learn basic fighting skills took the witness stand and repeatedly explained, in expert detail and a great length, why he refused to allow Zimmerman to even enter the sparring ring at any time during the several weeks that Zimmerman had enrolled in classes. Under an incessant pattern of questioning and cross-examination by prosecution and defense attorneys, Adam Pollock, owner of Kokopelli’s Gym, swore that Zimmerman was simply a “physically soft” person, lacking even the rudiments of any innate athletic ability which would indicate that it was at all safe to let Zimmerman practice jabs against even a pretend opponent in the practice ring.
Pollock’s testimony was deemed relevant to the proceedings because the prosecution was ostensibly supposed to get him, as their witness, to establish that Zimmerman had been trained in advanced fighting techniques, thereby supposedly undermining the defense theory that Zimmerman was no match for Trayvon Martin physically, and was overwhelmed by Martin’s “MMA-style” (according to the testimony of an eyewitness from 14 feet away) onslaught to the point of having to defend his life with his pistol.
Of course, the prosecution’s strategy
So in this context, along with of course the very dicey political and public relations aspects, I was initially adamant that Zimmerman’s acceptance of the fight challenge to be a bad idea. It just worried me.
Then I changed my mind.
Not very many minutes passed after I was first reacting to the news about the scheduled bout, and it dawned on me as I posted more and more comments, that it really isn’t a dumb move–on Zimmerman’s or the promoter’s part–at all.
It’s extremely provocative, physically
However, it is also a masterstroke of marketing; an utterly brilliant move, not only in terms of classic, sensational hucksterism in the legendary mode of Don King and the carnival-esque show business of overall fight-promoting, but also for the purposes of chart-busting charitable fundraising, TV ratings and revenues, and cutting-edge public relations.
In agreeing to the match, against an as yet unnamed opponent, Zimmerman has pledged to donate all of his share of official proceeds to charity. The fight is scheduled to take place one month from now, on March 1st, 2014–almost exactly two years since that fateful night of February 26th, 2012 in Sanford, Florida which eventually made household names of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
Since he was acquitted by a jury last July of all charges related to the incident which resulted in Martin’s death, we’ve learned about Zimmerman rescuing a family from their wrecked, burning, overturned SUV on the side of a highway, getting two speeding tickets, and being absolved of any criminal wrongdoing in two separate, sensational imbroglios featuring hysterical, unsubstantiated allegations by his two female significant others in sequence, both of whom were proven to have lied to police about the incidents.
We’ve also seen George, the artist, sell a very patriotic original painting, his own work, on E-Bay for over $100,000, and we’ve gotten a look at another of his paintings which features his rendering of the prosecutor in his murder trial, Angela Corey, along with graphics depicting her exhibiting zero respect for the American judicial system.
Let’s face it. George Zimmerman isn’t going away, he isn’t going underground, and he isn’t backing down.
The police were called to the Retreat at Twin Lakes 402 times–that’s right, 402 times–in just the 13 months leading up to the night that drug-dealing, ‘purple drank’-guzzling, thug burglar Trayvon Martin stalked, attacked, and nearly murdered the diligent neighborhood watch captain, for merely interrupting his loitering on the lawn and peering at the entrance/windows of a house which had previously had a break-in attempt, and for watching him.
I’m fairly sure Zimmerman still has huge legal bills and debts to contend with (he’s a contender, alright!). I’m also fairly sure that despite his pledge of 100% of his official share of the proceeds to charity, there will be some kind of legitimate, ancillary remuneration winding up to his favor as a result of this stunt.
Either way, if he gets beaten badly, fights to a draw, or if he triumphs, it will benefit a good cause, and it will actually give his enemies and his supporters a chance to see him (despite being a “celebrity”) that much more as just a vulnerable human being, needing a job in Obama’s post-American wasteland, and putting his bacon on the line for all to see.
I predict Z will earn some begrudging “props,” as they say. Word has it that he’s been in the ring training hard for the bout. I hope he’s discovering his inner Ralph Macchio.
Incidentally, there’s a vending machine up the hall from where I sat writing this…for the occasion, I consumed a delectable bag of Skittles while composing the first few paragraphs. I’m thinking that I just may eventually decide to finish that book, the one I started writing last year on the Zimmerman case, after all. Don’t touch that remote.