Monday Missive – July 23rd, 2012

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Hi Fighter,It’s Dave back with you again, and I’m feeling very tired tonight, so I’ll keep it brief.I can’t blame my tiredness on my ‘Monday Night Run’ though tonight as it didn’t happen.That was partly because I was speaking at a Rotary Dinner tonight and accepting a $2,000 donation to our Youth Centre (thank you, Marrickville Rotary). Morever though, the weather is cold and wet and miserable, and I’m just not up to it. 🙁

Most likely I’m still weary from a busy weekend that began with a rather surprising fight!


A Learning Experience!

I mentioned last week that I was anticipating a fight last Friday night. Indeed, I was only officially asked to fight last Monday, but it was a charity event, and I was told that my opponent was a couple of years older than me and had ZERO fight experience!

I wasn’t sure what to think about that! Did some guy with no fight experience really want to take me on, or was I being set up? Boxing promoters are not known for being the most honest people, and I’ve been set up before, so I accepted the bout with very mixed feelings.

My mind was put at rest though when I unexpectedly received an email from my opponent two days before the bout! He told me that his name was Rod and that he was a Christian man who had been quite nervous about the fight himself until he discovered that he was competing against a fellow believer. He asked me though to “go easy” on him though, as he was only a beginner.

I wrote back, saying that I was very glad that he had contacted me and that I would indeed take it easy on him. I said I did not want to embarrass him and would happily stick to ‘sparring level’. I then got on with my week and didn’t give the fight any further serious consideration until the evening of the event. On reflection, that was a big mistake!

It’s really quite curious how pig-headed I was. The team was telling me off over lunch on Friday – “You shouldn’t be drinking a glass of red with your lunch when you’re fighting tonight”, “You shouldn’t be eating fatty chips”, etc. I simply didn’t take them seriously, as I was no longer taking the fight seriously.

To cut to the chase, when the opening bell rang this guy exploded at me, and his punches were hard and straight! I lost the first round, and was lucky to claw my way back for a points win. It was a learning experience!

Here’s a pic of Rod and me after the fight. He told me he’d been training for this fight for three years. In truth, he’s a superb athlete, and I’ve told him that he’s certainly earned a rematch with me if he wants one.


A Sermon Illustration?

I’m sure there’s a good sermon illustration somewhere in that expereince – something about the importance of preparing yourself properly for the Good Fight.

Fighting Father Mungo, who fought on the same card, did a far better job of preparing himself, both mentally and physically, and won his bout with ease. Congratulations, bro!

Mind you, when it comes to fight preparation, the man to watch is Fighting Father Lovemore N’dou. He is an inspiration!

I’ve had the privilege of watching Lovemore and Sol Egberime go hammer-and-tongs at eachother over the last couple of months, as Lovemore helped Sol prepare for his fight two weeks back (which he won easily). Now Lovemore will be fighting in three Friday’s time, and along with Sol and the the rest of the team, I’m doing all I can to help him prepare.

In truth though, we don’t have to do much. The man is entirely self-motivated! Indeed, I have never seen anybody train so tirelessly or push themselves so mercilessly as does Lovemore. If I had ever wondered what it took to be a World Champion, now I know! His sparring sessions, which can last for hours, look just like the real thing, with perhaps a little less blood.

Watching these professional fighters in training reminds me of Josephus’ reflections on the Roman Army (you might not see the connection immediately, but bear with me).

The ancient Jewish historian, Josephus, recognised that it wasn’t just good luck that allowed Rome to conquer the world. It was because of the way her armies trained.

Anyone who will take a look at the organization of their army in general will recognize that they hold their wide-flung empire as the prize of valour, not the gift of fortune. They do not wait for war to begin before handling their arms, nor do they sit idle in peacetime and take action only when the emergency comes – but as if born ready armed they never have a truce from training or wait for war to be declared. Their battle-drills are no different from the real thing; every man works as hard at his daily training as if he was on active service. That is why they stand up so easily to the strain of battle: no indiscipline dislodges them from their regular formation, no panic incapacitates them, no toil wears them out; so victory over men not so trained follows as a matter of course. It would not be far from the truth to call their drills bloodless battles, their battles bloody drillls (Josephus’ Jewish Wars III, 60)

It’s worth recognising that when St Paul urged the early Christians to take their stand as soldiers of Christ (eg. Ephesians 6), it was these very Roman legionaries that he was pointing to as examples! Boxing champions like Lovemore and Solomon E are modern-day counterparts to these ancient warriors. They remind us that the battle is tough and that proper preparation is everything!

OK, enough sermonising!


In Conclusion …

I said that I was going to be brief today but (as usual) I got carried away …

Three more things I must pass on very quickly before I go:

  1. I mentioned last week that we had a few $220 seats left at our supporters’ tables for Lovemore’s fight on August 10th. I believe that all spots have now been taken, but if you’d like to put your name on the waiting list, please let me know ASAP
  2. I was interviewed last week by Ray Wheatley, the editor of “World of Boxing” magazine. He talked to me about the church, our work with young people and (of course) about boxing. Ray has YouTubed the interview here if you’d like to see it.
  3. I am going to make ONE FINAL PLEA to join THE CONTEST!

Fighting Father Jim and I have added a video to the contest sign-up page and a few other bells and whistles, so please do at least give the page a visit. Here’s the link again.

That’s enough for this week.

May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.

Your brother in the Good Fight,


About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

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1 thought on “Monday Missive – July 23rd, 2012”

  1. Pingback: Monday Missive – September 17th, 2012 | Father Dave's Monday Missive

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